What suffering the waters can cause, especially to the poor. The family who lost a father when, while working to rescue a stranded motorist below, the bridge he was on with his tractor collapsed. While so sad for that family, God will surely receive that man with joy as he gave his life for another, and in that screams the words of the Gospel. God’s gift to us this Lent of His Son for our sake also comes to life in the death of that good farmer.
Another scene brought me to an aspect of the rescue missions which I don’t consider often. One of our Sisters, whose family lives up north, has a brother who is on the volunteer rescue crew. A day after an area had been evacuated, the crew headed back into the flood waters in a boat to rescue a man and his 85-year-old mother. After completing the unpredictable rescue (have you navigated a boat through terrain made for cars and trucks all covered in water?) he commented that the men on that rescue trip were fathers to eleven children. Her brother wasn’t real pleased with the challenges caused by the pair’s refusal to evacuate when the call was made that they needed to go. I could see myself in that initial reluctance to leave. I see more fully, it is not just about me. May those men be blessed for their selfless efforts to assist those in crisis.
The Jones’, who have children in our school, have two Raising Canes stores, one in Norfolk and one in Fremont. Both were inaccessible and were on an “island”, though not flooded themselves. They served and provided food gratis to the National Guard, First Responders, rescue workers and shelters until they ran out of food at the Fremont store Monday. They are collecting emergency relief supplies at all their locations for the Salvation Army which will use the goods here in Nebraska. They also have a fund raiser tonight from 5 pm to 9 pm at all locations, 15% of proceeds go to the flood victims. From the Fremont store they had seven employees who were evacuated from their homes with flood damage to two.
The final vignette: one of our Sister’s extended family has an illustration of the surpassing dignity of the human person. It requires a bit of backstory. They owned a lot on a sand pit lake where they wanted to build a garage to keep their “water toys.” A bedroom and kitchen in the loft seemed wise so an overnight stay might be possible, and it gave a spot to shower after the fun…well, as plans proceeded, finally the dad said, “Hey, wait a minute, the house keeps getting bigger and my garage smaller!” Anyway they have a beautiful home there now that they and their many grandchildren enjoy regularly. A week ago I heard the water was at the threshold…then…the baby was born whom their son and his wife hope to adopt after years of being childless. In the last week, we have had many updates on the baby, requests for prayers or the little guy, his birth mom and his parents…not a word about the water at the threshold. At the threshold of life, property doesn’t matter nearly as much.
The Holy Spirit is flooding our souls with grace this Lent. Lord, help me to receive well all the grace my little soul can handle, and help those who are suffering with a flood of Your grace as well.