|Emergency Poncho||$ 0.88|
|Work Gloves||$ 8.88|
|1/4 Tank of Gas||$12.72|
|Being part of God’s work on earth||Priceless|
I’m pretty sure that God never intended for any musician, real or imagined, to be up by 5:00 AM on a Saturday. But this weekend I was up before 5:00 anyway. I had a quick breakfast and then headed out to the cultural center of Lafayette, TN.
Lafayette may not be familiar to you but it was one of the areas hit by tornadoes about a month ago. After a few weeks, the devastation is still clear: foundations sans-housing, roofs covered with tarps, rows of once-majestic trees now horizontal and separated from their root systems. There’s a lot of work to be done before it’s all cleaned up.
A couple of weeks ago I had signed up to go with a group to head out to Lafayette to help clean up. And last Saturday was the day the rubber was to meet the road. It was early, cold, and rainy and I thought about skipping out on the whole thing. I actually hoped the game might be called on account of weather but then I figured it was pretty lame to skip out on helping those in need just because of a little rain. After all, working in the rain was nothing like losing a house or business in a tornado.
So after driving, waiting, driving, meeting at the Lafayette Church of Christ, waiting, and driving, I ended up wrapped in an emergency poncho bent over in a muddy field picking up small pieces of asphalt shingles, trash bag in tow. My first thought was something along the lines of “Don’t the cows know that this is a field, not a toilet?” I guess they don’t.
And I was thinking about how little I seemed to be accomplishing.
- Why did God need my help?
- What good was this doing?
- Was God going to speak to me in this?
- How was I going to express God’s love to someone I probably wouldn’t meet?
And then it occurred to me: God doesn’t need my help. He wants my involvement.
God is perfectly capable of accomplishing what he wants to do. It is a privilege to be part of God’s work on earth.
What did we accomplish? Well, we worked about 3 hours or so, filled up a few trash bags with asphalt shingles and other trash, pulled tin roofing and aluminum siding from trees, piled up downed trees and wood so that it could be burned, and ate meals provided by the Lafayette Church of Christ.
Do I feel like I was effective? Why does that matter anyway? It’s not my gig. It’s God’s.
God is at work in the earth accomplishing his purposes. We don’t even begin to know what he accomplished this weekend. We haven’t seen the fruit of what he’s done in our lives, in the lives of others, in the Church, in the region, in the world, or in eternity.
And that’s OK. It’s all his deal anyway.