I have had several friends that have built new homes over the years. As the construction proceeded, they proudly showed me pictures of the progress. When the house was finally completed, they eagerly shared photos of the finished project. It is a natural thing to share the joy of a new home with friends.
Today we served hundreds of people who lost their homes in Granbury’s tornado Wednesday evening. They patiently waited in line for hours to secure a permit from Hood County Emergency Management personnel. And then they signed up to receive assistance from the Red Cross. Other non profit agencies were on hand to serve as well. There were several things that happened today worth noting. One in particular stands out to me this evening.
I helped a lady carry some supplies to her car that we were giving away at the church. As we loaded her vehicle, this is what she said: Would you like to see my house? The tone of her voice sounded like someone that had just finished building a new home. I said: Sure… She showed me pictures of their devastated house. The only thing left intact was the colorful kitchen cabinets painted in a shade of red.
As I walked back to the building, I was initially confused. Why would she display such enthusiasm about a house that was in shambles? And then the lights came on in my head. People need to share their losses in as much as they need to share what they have gained. She needed me to see that picture. And she also needed me to lament over the status of their destroyed home with the same degree of energy that I would rave over a newly completed house. I think I get her enthusiasm now. Her energetic demeanor was a cry for help in a different sort of way. It encouraged me to remain energetic in expressing compassion.
I am tired tonight. It has been a long three days since the storm Wednesday. But I learned a lot from the people I served today. Their spirit encouraged me to get up and try again tomorrow. There are people with pictures to share…