Thursday, May 7, 2009
This is a true Story that took place April 2009.
Susan (not her real name) stood at the side of the road, hand over her mouth in wide-eyed horror as all of her belongings, her memories and her dreams were consumed in a violently massive blaze that enveloped what used to be her home. Both she and her husband had gone to the heart of the little village they lived in to run some errands that morning. So they heard the sirens and they saw the flames, but they didn't realize it was their home burning to the ground until she had followed the other curious villagers to go and look. Now she stood numb with shock, the time inching by slowly, surrealistically; unable to speak and unaware of those around her. Her world, her life, her loves...up in smoke!
When the house finally lay in a heap of charred rubble, wisps of smoke still rising from it, she and her husband went to stay with her daughter and son-in-law for the time being. Her husband, an agnostic in his sixties and unable to cope, ended up in the hospital under suicide watch that day, and she herself ended up there the next day for bed rest. They were devastated and having a hard time coping.
Insurance said the fire started at the back of the house with a big bang which many had heard. They still don't know the cause of the fire, but they are covered. So that was a relief. But that is just the background of this story. The heart of the story is what happened after this.
As she stood on the road, a member of her small church came to her, asked if she had insurance, and then offered their trailer for rent. It was small and unfurnished but she was sure it would be perfect for them. She also offered to walk the dog that had survived the blaze. I believe Susan lost quite a few animals in the fire, which were like children to her. Then another member of the church came by, sympathized with her, and told her to call if she needed anything. The pastors wife had offered her condolences as well, and told her to call. My mother, who had been good friends with Susan for years, cried with her and gave her some clothing and a few things she would need immediately. Later, Mom also went through some albums with her which they had rescued from the remains, as they tried to salvage a few precious pictures.
There is another church in town.
This one is a brethren church. The people are very "religious" and they are not accepting of the charismatic church that Susan attends. However....
The pastor and a board member came by two days after the fire, cheque (check) in hand and with prayers on their lips. They embraced her, encouraged her and insisted she buy the things she needed. They left her feeling loved and cared for. Another member of that same church showed up with baking, and others brought meals. Still another gave her a good couch to pick up or have delivered once they were able to get a place of their own. Love in action!
In the aftermath of the fire, Susan made some very real observations. As she went through the rubble, she realized that so many of the things that were once so important to her, really held no importance at all. How true is that of us? What have we placed importance on in our lives, that's really not important? I'm not suggesting that we can't have a few things to enjoy, but it's the importance we place on them, you know? It can turn into idolatry.
Susan is a real sweetheart. She's a very loving individual who would bend over backwards for you. She's the kind of person people can take advantage of, and she knows it, but she continues to do the loving thing anyway.
Love is putting yourself in another persons shoes as if they were your own shoes. It's thinking things through a bit more and deciding what you can do for them in their time of need, and then just doing it. Sometimes it's hard to know what to do, isn't it? But that's what makes love so special, true love requires action! Even God acted on His love for us by sending His Son to display love in action! We must do the same.
Susan was amazed and thankful for the love that many people showed, especially those she had expected nothing from. None of us are perfect, and most of us want to do what's right. So let's keep the love bouncing!
Susan and her husband are doing well now and are able to start over. Thank God for people that put action to their love!
Have an actively love filled weekend!!