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Love Thy Neighbor

I talk a lot about the storms of life. We all face them, be they relationships, loss, financial, or acts of nature. However, the images of Hurricane Harvey’s devastation has brought new meaning to the word “storm.” With each photo and personal story, my heart aches. With each photo and personal story, I ask, “If it were me in that situation, I wouldn’t want to be left alone.” Scenes of Harvey has taken me back to another “storm of the century.”

Twelve years ago (August 25, 2005), Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans. There was round the clock coverage as our family sat in front of the television with mouths gaping open to see the enormity of the flooding and wind damage Katrina had to a coastal community. Ten days after Katrina hit, a group in our community were introduced to a large family seeking shelter in our city.

There were about 40 in our “band of brothers” from our small town, willing to help a large family in need. Within days we secured housing, furniture, appliances, accessories, clothing, personal items, toys for the kids, and food for a family of 18. I still get emotional when I think about it. There are no words to express what I felt as we introduced this displaced family to their new home. I cried and thanked God at the same time for the opportunity to be a part of His miracle.

Since Harvey made landfall, people from every state in the union and numerous countries are stepping up to the plate and loving neighbors whom they’ve never met (and probably never will). There is no talk of division, no thought of politics, religion or race, just helping another human being in need.

Yes, Hurricane Harvey has given us a new opportunity to love our neighbors. There are many ways we can help – through giving of our time, talent, physical resources, financial resources, volunteering in various capacities. Each prayer we utter changes our hearts and opens new avenues to help. With each action, we become the hands and feet of Jesus to those suffering, and, at the same time, a miracle happens in their lives and in us, too.

Will I see you in the volunteer line?  Until next time …

Mark 12:30-31 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

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