As the East Coast prepares for the perfect storm, my Jersey friends have buttoned down the hatches and left town. I am reminded about a story when a large van pulled up in the church parking lot. A bunch of teenagers got out. They were part of the youth group. They got out with bedrolls and paraphernalia and, they looked awful. They looked like refugees. They were dirty and smelly. clothes messed up. They all looked like that they just came from bad brawl. It was the most awful bunch of kids you have ever seen, and kids from the church. I said, “What’s this?” I knew they just returned from Hurricane Katerina. There for one week, along with other groups, they helped the people clean up and repair homes, and clear out tons of debris. Now they were back home sittings on their bags, waiting for their parents to pick them upon, I said to one of the boys, “Are you tired?” He said, “Man, I’m dead, I’m more than tired!” But then he added gospel words without realizing it: “But this is the best tired I have ever felt.”
Why the best? Because he had loved his neighbor as himself and in the loving he had found God. I guess the old Persian proverb has it right after all:
“I sought my God, my God I could not see. I sought my soul, my soul eluded me. I sought my neighbor and I found all three.”
The Lord watches over us as we pray: “In your distress you called and I rescued you, I answered you out of the thundercloud, and I tested you at the waters of Meribah.” (Psalm 81:7).
Lord, I pray for all my Sonshine Friends who are in harms way. Keep them safe and bless all the emergency rescue teams who you call upon to save their neighbors.,