A good friend called two days ago with the opportunity to go help the tornado victims in Moore OK, something I had been interested in doing, but has become harder and more complicated since lawyers and bureaucrats have been active in Katrina and Joplin. Alerted at 8:00 p.m. the night before, I showed up in a local church parking lot at 5:30 a.m. yesterday to drive three hours to OKC to help. The destruction and devastation is widespread and in some places complete, as images from television have depicted. It was surreal driving through some of it on I-35. The traffic and people going about their daily business seemed normal; while homes and lives all around were devastated.
Interestingly, this seems to me a small picture of our culture and Christian landscape in America these days… people going about their daily business while lives all around are devastated. This would be confirmed to me by days end.
Our Methodist team from Van Buren & Fort Smith joined with five Baptist men from Ada OK and were put under the supervision of an Israeli team mobilized to help in such disasters, who themselves were working under a disaster response team from Joyce Meyer Ministries, a team now operating out of Church of the Harvest, south campus, near Moore. Interesting huh? The community of God is very far reaching, large, and functions like nothing we really comprehend or can imagine. There are valid reasons for our local church boundaries; and there are at least two valid reasons to get outside of them.
I was just there to help any way I could, to observe, and hopefully get some meaningful contact with people who were directly affected. But I was really there to spend a day with some old and new friends, help some people in real need, and to serve the King doing both. Whatever our hands found to do would be fine with me.
Then it happened. About 3:00 p.m., we broke for lunch at an American Indian tribal donation center about forty-five minutes east of Moore in an area that had also been hit hard. We had earlier in the day helped move a mountain of trash and debris into dumpsters while they were repeatedly emptied by a big trash truck. We then made three logistics runs, I call them, moving supplies from distribution centers at churches (who had made themselves into warehouses), to similar churches where the supplies were needed for families. It looked as if that’s the way our day would end when two pickup trucks with large trailers from a Baptist Church near Atlanta GA pulled up and took our last big load back to Destiny Church OKC in our place, freeing us to call for an assignment to help families in need.
I’ll describe what happened next in another blog post. This one has gotten too long. I’ll summarize like this: Walking along side Lance, who turned thirty-four the day of the tornado, looking at his destroyed home and property ten yards from the storm cellar where he and some neighbors rode out the storm, surviving with no one hurt or lost…
It seemed to me, and to all our team, that Less is Moore.