Mary and I are spending some time with our children Lori, Scott, Justin, and Kaitlin in Raleigh NC.
As I think about this season, I think about those people close to me which I am thankful for, and thankful that God has allowed them to be part of my life. I am thankful for the wonderful relationships which we have together.
We stepped off the back of the truck on the morning of November 12th into this yard where hurricane Mathew had tore down a house. We met this lady named Madlin who began telling the story of when the storm hit. As she tells her story there is the sound of children playing and a machete cutting wood in the background. Madlin continues her story as she holds a single screw driver and tells how it is the only tool she has today to remove her cooking pots and utensils from the rubble. She shared how her husband is a farmer and he is cutting the trees off the farmland with his machete so he will be able to plant crops. Then her husband Pierre comes up and shares how his goats and sheep were also a part of his family's lively hood and they too were taken away with the storm.
Their story is one of many where entire homes were broken down and destroyed by the storm. I was overwhelmed by the great need there. Today back in America reflecting on what I am thankful for, I am so thankful for the relationships I have with family and friends. But as I ponder these things I am reminded of the world of broken relationships around us. Most live in pristine homes comparatively, but are hurting inside because of broken relationships. Many would even rather not celebrate the holidays because it reminds them of the broken relationships. As overwhelmed as I am with the desperation of the Haitian people and their physical needs due to broken homes, so am I overwhelmed in America with our broken relationships with each other, which is the deeper cause of our division in America.
There is Hope!! His name is Jesus!! He is in the reconciliation business. Someone once said How you respond to an offense will determine your future. Many of us are in the place of broken relationship because of how we have responded to offense in the past. It is not too late! We still have the opportunity to ask Jesus how he would have us respond so there is restoration in our relationships. Responsibility is our ability to respond. If we are followers of Christ, we have the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us to do His good will, which gives us an ability to respond that others do not have. My prayer during this season is that if you are in a broken or strained relationship that your ability to respond will be increased and today you can make the phone call, send the letter, or visit the relationship for a new beginning.
Praying for you and wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.
With love in Christ
Emory and Mary