#3 — THE SHELTERED LIFE
“Those who live in the SHELTER of the Most High, will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1 NLT) So, let me ask you something, “Have YOU ever been taken to a shelter, in a hurricane?” This was a first for me. And for some reason, I had an image in my head of all those people trying to get in the Superdome, when Hurricane Katrina ripped through, Louisiana. It looked like total mayhem when I saw it on the news. FYI, I don’t handle mayhem very well. My whole body tightens up when I’m in a place of mayhem. Thankfully, mayhem didn’t show up.
When Margie, our granddaughter, Adalie, my electric power-chair with all my breathing equipment, and I were rescued, they loaded all of us into the front seat of a dump-truck. The guy driving was from Pennsylvania. He told me his boss urged all of his employees to go out and help anyone they can, even though they wouldn’t get paid. He said, “So, since I can’t work, I think I will go out and save some people!” And that’s exactly what he was doing when he picked us up. The shelter was a local school and he made sure we had all of our “stuff” with us. Things were looking up.
The rain was pouring down as we made our way to the inside. People were giving us towels and blankets and even had a nurse come over in case I needed anything. A high school girl was volunteering at the shelter and quickly made friends with Adalie. She asked me if it would be alright to take her several tables down where they had shoes, clothing and toys for children. I forgot that Adalie was still in her pajamas with no shoes. As she scooped up Adalie in her arms I tried my best to hold my tears back. It’s no coincidence that she was there at the time Adalie needed some normalcy.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE… After a couple of hours they made an announcement that everyone was being shuttled to several other shelters. By then, I had already seen the Hand of God at work on our behalf. I have learned, if we can “recognize” when God is doing something outside of our comfort zone, it’s best if we follow His plan instead of fighting Him for ours. So, that’s what I did. They loaded us, and all our stuff, on a brand-new bus that had an awesome wheelchair lift. We went to a much larger shelter at the Bay Harbour United Methodist Church.
By now it’s late afternoon on Sunday. These wonderful people (volunteers) directed us to a room that was helping people with medical issues. They allowed Margie to give me a breathing treatment because I was exhausted. As I was doing that Margie made a phone call to her good friend who lives out-of-state. When she began to describe our flooded house she lost it. She was crying and tried her best to be discreet, but a paramedic across the room saw it. She walked over to Margie and gave her a big tight hug until she could gather herself together. All eyes were on them and when the paramedic walked away she said, “Sometimes, all they need is a hug.” And right after that, little Adalie, who hadn’t slept in hours and hours, crawled up in Margie’s lap and said, “MiMi, don’t worry. It’s gonna be alright!”
In Him, Pastor Kevin Kinchen