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Water Therapy to Reveal the Human Heart

September 12, 2017

I worked with a friend this weekend.  He is in the local Rotary Club.  They go to disaster areas and help with cleanup and recovery.  We were in Orange, Texas this last weekend.  The couple we helped had lived in their home for the last 45 years.  They had never seen the water enter their home..until hurricane Harvey hit.  There, but for another foot of water, go I.

We all need help when things get bad enough.  Is it a thousand year flood, a 600 year earthquake, or a one in a hundred year fire?  You prepare as best you can, but add enough problems and we all start swimming for higher ground.

The couple we helped didn’t know what to do.  They had about 6 inches of water in their home.  Insulation and drywall don’t drain and dry. They mold and rot the bottom frame of your house.  The walls and insulation must be removed and the walls blown dry.  Their carpets were already out, so we cut out the drywall about 2 feet above the floor.  I was able to cut, move and clean about 150 feet of wall.  So did the other volunteers as we added to the growing berm of debris lining the road.

I wish we’d been there to help earlier, but my friend was sending supplies to churches last weekend or moving supplies by boat.  Some people watch a disaster on TV and change the channel.  Others get into their truck, grab their friends, and come help.  I was one of the friends they grabbed.  What I saw was amazing to see.

I’ve seen with my own eyes that we are a rich country.  Our wealth isn’t in the glittering shops on main street, but in the hearts of our neighbors.  We are so rich that we can afford to take a day off work and a day away from our home and our families.  We can afford to fill our trucks with gas and tools and gloves, and then give the gift of time.  Millions of us did.  Millions more will.

I saw it happen after hurricane Katrina.  We were able to help after the flooding in east central Louisiana in 2016.  This time, I was  able to help out in Texas.

You know you’re rich once you’ve seen someone lose most of what they have.  There, but for another foot of water, go any of us.

The elderly homeowners appreciated what we did for them.  All we knew about them was that they needed help.   We didn’t know or care about race, religion, or anything else.  It is easy to have a bad attitude when the world knocks you down.  This couple appreciated that we knew what to do and how to do it.  More than anything, they appreciated that they were not strangers.  I think we gave them hope.

It is hot and dirty work, but we did it with a smile.  Sometimes love takes the tangible form of a guy holding a sawzall and a pry bar and wearing a dust mask over his face.  I was glad to help.  I know I’m not alone.

Thank you for all you do.  There, but for another foot of water, go we all.

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