This last weekend we were met with threats of serious storm damage from Hurricane Irene. Days before the storm was to make landfall, our news channels were all abuzz with warnings to secure our outdoor furniture, buy batteries and water. Irene turned out to be a bit of a dud for our part of the state but not so for many surrounding states. My sister lives on the coast in Virginia and the threat there was much more serious than we hoped. She runs an assisted living facility and is responsible for the complete care of three precious elderly ladies. Upon seeing the storm threat, she loaded up her three residents and her three children and headed for my house on Friday.
When my sister arrived with her residents, wheelchairs and walkers in tow, it was such a relief to know they were safe from the storm!
It just so happened that we had planned Francis' 16th birthday celebration for that very same day so our 40+ invited guests, my sister's residents and family and my brother and his wife and kids all enjoyed a big birthday party together the night before a hurricane was set to hit! Several times during the party I had to swallow back tears of gratitude. I would be scooping ice cream and find myself just so thankful for all of the people God has put in my life. It's not unusual for me to feel that way when looking at my children but I don't think I stop often enough to be grateful for the friends, neighbors, and church family that I have been blessed with. Our home was filled with fellow Christians, the newly-adopted Indian children of a friend, a family in the middle of an Ethiopian adoption while expecting their 10th biological child, and so many who helped us with our last TWO adoptions. What a blessing to know these people! How lucky I am to be able to feed them dinner and watch their children play with mine. I will never understand the life of a hermit or the bitterness that makes some folks want to hole up and close themselves off from the world. Human beings are such great creations! We were made for fellowship with God and with each other. Just the presence of these loved ones sharpened my "iron" (Proverbs 27:17). I pray that God will use me to enrich the lives of others just as He has used so many to enrich mine.
"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken."