Reality Check: ***Irma***

In between Operation Christmas Child countdown posts, I have been sharing details from my real life meeting with Alex Nsengimana, Rwandan genocide survivor and shoebox recipient.

Today (meaning the day I’m writing this), I want to pause the cause for an important reality check.

Irma is in the House

This past week, there was a little thing in the news called Irma. No, not a little thing, a giant thing. Even those normally unaffected by tropical weather had their eyes pealed on this ol’ gal.

Living in northeast Florida, our eyes were not only pealed, sometimes they felt sliced and diced.

Recovery for many many many is still going on. And will be going on. And on and on.

What Does This Mean for Operation Christmas Child?

From the global perspective, shoeboxes are marching on!

From a local level*, I only have one thing to say (ok, maybe two Smile).

Who are Others?

Years ago, I learned our families are Others. We must care for those He directly entrusted us with.

Beyond home, our neighbors, our co-workers, our church friends are Others, too.

With much thankfulness, over the years I have been the Other of others. <3

Local Others Need You

They may need the bars of soap you collected, their child may need the distraction of a package of stickers, an overwrought mom may need a dry notebook to write down her massive recovery to-do list.

Sure, they can may be able to get to the store to buy those things, but they can’t buy what those gifts – even when we shoebox them up for worlds unknown – are all about. Love.

They need to know that someone cares about them, too.

All that to say, if you see a local need, don’t be afraid of meeting it.

If you see a local need,
don’t be afraid of meeting it with your personal Operation Christmas Child stash.If someone donated it specifically for shoeboxes,
use it for shoeboxes or ask permission to redirect the donation. 🙂

Let the Fear and Guilt Go Out with the Tide

I’ve been on or near the railroad more than I have been home this year, so my shoeboxing isn’t as intense as it has been in years past. And that’s ok.

Add Irma, and maybe her friend (not ours!) Maria, to our cottage mix and if I get one or two complete shoeboxes made I will be thankful.

It’s highly likely we will have filler to drop off at the collection center this year, rather than very many completed boxes.

And that’s ok. God uses what we have to do what He will. He’s not pressuring you to do *more*, He’s asking us to do what we can and trust Him to do the more with it.

God uses what we have to do what He will.

So, let the debris fear of not pleasing our Father God and the guilt of religious thinking roll out with the tide. (No football reference, I promise. Winking smile )

Walk in peace, knowing that God loves you and your neighbors as much as He does the children around the world.

Maybe next year we will do more than we’ve done before. Or maybe God will turn our compassion gained in the storm in other directions.

Who knows?

God. Red heart

And isn’t that Who we’re serving with anyway? Smile

*Reality Check: Cozy Top Cottage had no damage, even from a giant pine tree top that pounded our backyard. One shed shingle is askew. My nerves are shaken, but not stirred. Ok, maybe a little stirred.

Irma 1

God, however, regardless of the state of my emotions, took care of us, moment by moment, need by need, including emotional support from afar, air conditioning for my daughter with a chronic condition made worse by heat, offers of showers and cool places to sleep, a café guy at Target who took such good care of us, and a church from Michigan.

Irma may have been giant, but our God slays giants.

Sometimes with one stone at a time.

Irma Slayed


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