It will certainly be a long haul, but area faith-based work teams began their work today to take a dent out of the mess. The turnout has been initially slim; I think people are still busy digging themselves out before they can think about digging others out. I am still proud of my church; they continue to serve hot meals each day, and treating each person that comes in as an honored guest.
A few of us went to an area veterinarian's home to help him get rid of fallen trees. While several put in a whole day's work, complete with some heavy equipment (and a skilled operator of it to boot!), we didn't quite get done. But there were several joys to celebrate, and as always, this pastor came away with much more than he gave.
For one, three of us minister types worked together: Todd Belt (youth director of Woodlawn C.P.), the Rev. Dr. Larry Lewis (pastor of Reidland Baptist), and myself. While this doesn't strike me odd, I am sure it strikes lots of people odd given the fact that most people think we only work one day a week and that none of us know a hammer from a nail. "Doc" was so impressed he took a picture of us. What a blessing to work with colleagues of different denominations and finding common ground in our laboring together.
The other blessing that I received was watching Doc, a man in his 80's (still full-time at his vet clinic, able to run a chain saw, and as the picture shows, is still able to walk on the roof of his house), drop all that he was doing amidst the tragedy around his own home to meet a family in his driveway concerned about their dog. He got into the car with them, went to the clinic, and delivered bad news to them that their dog had cancer. He wasn't put out, he didn't seem inconvenienced - he was compassionate and gracious. Being the lover of all the things that God created, he lamented over all the beautiful trees that are now so damaged and deformed.
Doc's not your normal veterinarian - he's also a philosopher and theologian and an author of two books (click here and here). But today, amidst being ministered to, he also witnessed to us and reminded us of the wonder and responsibility we have to God's creation, whether it be some one's pet or the wonderful trees that give us life-giving oxygen and wonderful beauty. The cross of Christ doesn't just remind us of the crucifixion - it also reminds us of the resurrection and how we should embody the joy of creation.