Today, we tossed school aside to take hold of an opportunity to help a complete stranger. It all started on Thanksgiving weekend when a large apartment complex near our home was on fire. It was such a spectacular sight that most of the town was out to see it - I even got Duck out of bed to walk over. Most people were there to help the more than 150 residents of the building that were soon to realize they were homeless. Not having anything to offer at that time, Duck and I went home and talked about how an event like this can show us how easily our 'stuff' can disappear but, at the same time, why we are so thankful for what we do have in this world.
Then this morning we received a phone call from a woman from our church. She was trying to get some help organized for a woman who had lived in the burned out building. Could we come down and help her clean out anything that still remained in her apartment? Absolutely!
Um...okay, maybe I didn't exactly jump at the chance...my first thought was 'what about school?' If I fall behind this early in the year, it sets a bad precedent for the rest of the year - should I really be leaving to clean out someone elses' house when I haven't done my vaccuuming yet? All these thoughts were pretty selfish, I know. My husband quickly squashed them and volunteered us all for the job. So I quickly got over it and agreed to go.
When we arrived, two teen boys from church were already carrying furniture out of the building. Our job was to wrap any ceramics, china or pack up books and clothes that survived the fire. The smell was awful and the sight of the hallway and apartments was incredible. Paint peeling off the walls, floor tiles lifts up, ceiling panels crumbled to the ground - and this was the part of the building that was not touched by fire. This was all water and smoke damage. Walking through reminded me of the conversation Duck and I had spoken on the night of the fire. We really are blessed.
I am so thankful that we could help, even in a small way. Most of all, I am thankful that when we arrived back home my husband read Matthew 25 to Duck and remind us that anything we do "for the least" is done for the glory of God. The woman we helped claims to be saved, but has limited knowledge of scripture or practical day to day living for the Lord. She likely (I didn't delve into details) lives on welfare, is a serious smoker and displayed a 'woe-is-me' attitude all day. However, with no family in the area and significant health problems, there was no way she could have recovered any belongings on her own. She was very grateful for the help - but that wasn't why we did it.
When the Son of man shall come in all his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon his throne of glory:
Add before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall seperate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Matthew 25:31 - 34