We will call today’s lunch – “A memorial lunch.”
A few friends gathered to eat together and tell stories about a man named Don, who slipped into heaven the day before this awful fire broke out. His passing could have been forgotten with both of his brothers working long days at the Red Cross shelter at Neighborhood Church on November 8th. They responded to this crisis in the midst of their shock and grief, and graciously served others. It was good to visit today and focus on honoring and celebrating Don’s life and also to encourage his brothers.
What do you do to remember special people or events in your past?
Milestones cry out to be celebrated or grieved on their anniversary dates and significant moments that we encounter. Depending upon the occasion, we have planted roses or trees, or given gifts to remind them of a loved one on a regular basis.
As we move through grief we don’t cease to remember someone, we simply find more peace in that situation. Jesus is the one that brings healing, not time. Over time, perspective can be gained increasingly – but wisdom only comes from times of reflection, appropriate processing and divine gifts. So, in this grieving season, we need the Holy Spirit to help us even more than ever.
Before the smoke had cleared in Butte County, a baby named Emmerson was born here in Chico. Shortly after being born, Emmerson had problems breathing and was transported to Sutter hospital in Sacramento for the very best intensive care for babies. It would be easy to forget that her parents Jeff and Stephanie are isolated, waiting, watching and praying for their little girl to be fully healed. There have been all sorts of reminders I have placed around me to remind me to pray for “Emmy.” I have joined with an army of others praying her and her family through these days. If you want to join this prayer team – your first assignment starts now. Surgery is scheduled for Friday, Dec 7th at midday. Pray for her surgery to go flawlessly, and pray that she begins eating a lot more. This is like a burden that Galatians 6:2 refers to: "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." I am so glad to help carry this load, but I need reminders to keep engaged in it.
Keeping track of our Tribe
It has been a delight to my heart to host the Paradise Alliance Church on Sundays and help them to continue to function as a church. With so many others joining us - it’s been much more difficult to keep track of you, our own church folks. We have been trying to keep track of who has been affected by this wildfire and I think our official list has about 20 families from NC who have lost their homes and a handful who still have homes but are displaced. If you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know if you have been displaced, that would really help us to make sure we can care for some of your needs.
Those of you who are housing others in this crisis are as much heroes for your hospitality as any other people helper. We know the stress of sheltering others can wear on you, and we would like to find ways to bless and help you as you help others. If you are housing friends or family in your home, please email us at email@example.com and let us know so we can keep track of you too.
“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”