We all join in to help others

Published 11:28 am Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I know that I’m not alone today in the sorrow I feel for residents in more than half of our state who are suffering. It’s not necessary to rehash what caused the devastation they have experienced; by now we all know about how badly the tornadoes ripped through Alabama last week.

As news of the havoc created by those storms has unfolded in the last few days the utter devastation has been seen by millions across this country and so many are coming to the aid of our neighbors.

That gives me pride to know that when the chips are down, America’s people respond with compassion, care, prayers, concern and even their money.

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Monday brought many tears for me as news releases were sent to our office of recovery and relief efforts being poured into the affected areas by people from thousands of miles away from the areas hardest hit.

That news of trucks bringing in supplies of water and food to the areas is what brought up those awful days I experienced myself after Hurricane Ivan.

After Ivan tore through our area, my family was without power and water for 14 days. It seemed like an eternity then, but such a brief time now in retrospect.

After Ivan, I still had a roof over my head and a bed to sleep in at night. Although we had no power, we did have a generator (a very small one) that allowed me power to perk a pot of coffee and power a lamp to read by before lying down to sleep. The food in my freezer began to thaw and we cooked everything we could on our grill or in a pot over our propane fish cooker. We feasted for a few days until the food safety began to be questionable.

Four days after losing power and water, we were told that a truck filled with water and ice would be coming near our home.

The recollection of the feelings I had the day the truck arrived is what brought me to tears Monday.

I can recall standing in line at the rear of the truck with hundreds of others waiting for someone to lay a bag of ice or a case of water into my waiting arms. At that moment I felt humiliated and helpless. I wasn’t alone in feeling those emotions, but it didn’t ease what I perceived as a weakness to require someone’s help with my daily needs.

As I think about the thousands of people left helpless by the storms, I recall how lucky I was and am.

Today, there are mothers, fathers and children standing in a line hoping to receive some morsel of food or a sip of water to keep them going for another day. After they have those precious items laid into their waiting arms they will no doubt, in some cases, wander back to a makeshift shelter or tent to wait — and wait for their lives to be rebuilt.

As we sit in our air-conditioned offices and drink a cold soft drink or enjoy a quick snack waiting for the time to go home, may we remember our neighbors to the north who have none of those things. No job, no home, no air conditioning, no soft drink, no snack, and for many, little or no hope.

Keep in mind how lucky you are and say a prayer for those who feel so unlucky today. Consider what you have to share and share.

Matthew 25: 35-40 — For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Lisa Tindell is news editor of The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 867-4876 or by email at lisa.tindell@brewtonstandard.com.