Heavy Lifting

Doing the heavy lifting. Flat-gray back stage metal door, Ice-Grey sky, blue-white snow-covered ground, bone-twisting cold, frosty-breath February-winter in Bloomington, Minnesota. I was performing for the Child Neurology Foundation, raising funds for the care of severely handicapped children that nobody else wanted to help. They were serving those, who most times could not serve themselves. My gloved hand pulled hard at the door. With a gritty salted-sidewalk scrape it groaned open. Magic seemed to happen. The golden glow of the banquet hall spilled out all over me and the ground beneath me. It was liquid gold pouring into a frozen world. Warm music and enticing food-fragrances enveloped me. The memory of that event warmed me for a long time.

Now it is summer, but last week Cindy and I were warmed again. The Salvation Army goes places and works with people that have fallen or been pushed into the darkest cracks in our social machine. Almost a thousand of these willing workers from the SouthEast Area gathered to grow and be encouraged at a conference in North Carolina. With them were about two hundred and fifty of the men and women that were helped to their feet by these tireless, cheerful servants. It requires heavy lifting. It takes real emotional work to help people who have fallen and cannot get up. We smiled, laughed, embraced and were encouraged by them all. It is a reminder that the very best way to get warm when we are cold, to be filled when we are empty and find reason to hope when everything looks grey is to reach out to help someone who cannot help themselves.

“Don’t be concerned only about your own needs, but the needs of others as well” Philippians 1:4

I try to help by telling their stories in sand.

Until next time, I’ll be playing in the sand.

Joe