Wednesday, February 2, 2011
A category 5 cyclone is pounding the East Coast of Australia,Queensland,as I type.The winds that accompany this storm are raging at 186 mph.Unimaginable.Since Europeans settled this continent there has never been weather like this,according to reports.I am not proud to admit that I know and care about this because my youngest son has just arrived in Australia to do two months of research.He is safe in the North near Darwin and the only wildness he has seen so far are cockatoos.
Many Americans who hear of this storm will think back to Hurricane Katrina and the devastation it left in the Gulf states.I wonder,if the destruction in Queensland is bad enough,will my son think about lending a hand.
In 2005, as the images of flooding,houses washed away,people on rooftops bombarded the air waves,my son was moved to action.He was working part-time at the Atlanta Zoo and he and a friend got piles of donations from co-workers to take to the coast.His older brothers were afraid for him and told him to send a check to the Red Cross but he was determined.
When he looked at the donations, he had to leave most of it behind because it was animal food and not much else.He and his friend went to Wal-Mart and bought bread,milk,canned food and off they went in his very old ,red Ford truck that has too many miles on it.
They found a state campground in Mississippi,parked back in the woods and set up a tent.After securing their spot,they drove to the local fire house in a small town and asked to be directed to whoever needed help.From there they went to a mobile home park that had suffered damage.The first small trailer was a rusted silver and green with trees and power lines down around it.An elderly black lady came to the door when she saw the truck and said,"Thank God you're here.My cat has no food."Well, that had been left in Georgia so off they went to Wal-Mart.The next trailer's owner was desperate for beer, cigarettes,and bread so the Georgia rescue team went back for that.They did this for three days and then headed home to go back to school and work.
I found out about this after the fact and I am sure I would have tried to discourage him.But now I am wondering if those few days aren't among his most precious memories.
Do the people of Australia jump in to help other parts of the country as we do here? I think they probably do.We met a couple when we were in Scotland.They live in Adelaide and insisted we come and stay with them should we ever find ourselves there.Lovely people.
There is guidance for this type of altruism:
"If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and no food for the day and you say to them,""Good-bye and good luck !Keep warm and well fed,""but do not meet their bodily needs ,what good is that?So it is with faith that does nothing in practise.It is thoroughly lifeless." James 2:15-17.
I pray for the good people Down Under today.If my son can do more,I hope that he does.His heart will lead him.