I have seen God’s plans unfold in my life, and in the lives of those around me, in beautiful ways over the years. Admittedly I’m usually on the back end of things after they all sort out perfectly saying “Oh, so that’s why that happened…ok, I get it now. Sorry I complained since You obviously know what You’re doing.” I know you all have been there and are shaking your heads saying “amen sista”. If not you should be. Do it, right now.
It’s because of this awe I have for God and His works in this undeserving world that I need to relay what happend to us when we decided to step up and help those who needed a hand in West, Texas after the explosion.
The explosion happened on a Wednesday night. I was getting John Blue ready for bed when Big Red brought my attention to the local news. It felt like someone was telling me my brothers house exploded and they were hurting and scared…my heart was breaking thinking of these people I didn’t know, but with whom I had a deep kinship. Because we’re Texans. I had such trouble sleeping I don’t know why I bothered trying.
Lil Sista had the same reaction and trouble sleeping and she called first thing Thursday morning.
“Hello?” I answered.
“We have to do something. We have to help them.” She was very anxious, I could tell.
“Yes, we do. How?”
“With LoveSent….” She’s a genius, that girl.
No more than five minutes later we had a plan to collect donations for the victims at Big Red’s gym (Red was highly motivated to help out as well) for the following three days. This was the first moment I was caught by God’s good graces, He cleared any obstacle in our paths while we figured out a plan (maybe He put the plan in our hearts and we just think we came up with it, lol). We had a few vehicles at our disposal, a couple pickup trucks and SUV’s, so we could get things down there. We had a place to store the donations with the gym being a large enough facility. We had the man power since Lil Sista is currently staying in town while her husband is at training. And we had babysitting thanks to Yaya and Poppy. :0)
So Lil Sista went about trying to get the word out and, being adept at all things media and technical (and social, frankly) she had shared our information with over 1.3 million people (according to my calculator) in under an hour. ( A huge thank you to the DFW Scanner Facebook page for sharing our information, with their followers) When God has a message, He gets it out there y’all. I was blown away. Floored! And then maybe slightly fretful when I started thinking of all those people who would want to help…all million of them…Holy Moses.
Nope, Holy God! A small voice whispered to me “Dude, just get in the shower and go start the collection process. Quit being a drama queen.” This is how The Lord talks to me, by the way, I always hear Him sort of giggling and telling me to chill out. Once at the gym people started bringing their donations and I started trying not to cry out of hormonal love for these precious, precious people. The other thing that floored me was that people were donating brand new items and really nice things! These were nobody’s leftovers. Car-full after truck-load dropped off hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of items and people wrote sweet love notes to the victims of the explosion on LoveSent stationary. Day one was an outpouring of God’s love for His people. Day two was the same thing and we were out of space in hurry! Our neighbor Chris Hill with Produce Express walked over to check on how things were going and, after seeing the mountains of love piling up on the turf in the gym he started formulating a plan to help us out. He got some of his workers to transfer all the items to his shop so we could store them until Sunday when we planned to head down to West. A boy named Tony appeared out of nowhere and started organizing all that charity and separating it on pallets and forklifting them to an orderly location…you can imagine how Lil Sista and I felt when all of this flurry of activity started and what could have been a problem was ironed out so smoothly I couldn’t have planned it better. It was like those scenes in a Disney movie when all the animals dress the main character and clean their rooms and mop and stuff all while the main character just sways and sings…. God gave us Chris Hill and his Produce Express Boys!
Tony continued to take donations on our behalf (out of the goodness of his heart) even when we weren’t there, which meant so many more people could donate! Saturday continued in the same way, with God showing how easy it was to love and care for one another! Towards the end of day, as we were looking for corners and crannies to house more and more deliveries, we were struck by a terrible, harsh crashing noise that felt very close. I can’t clearly recall the following few seconds except to say that, without any forethought, I started running in the direction of the thunderous crash. I saw Chris Hill running to my left and two other figures came out of my blind spot to the right running as fast as we all could. I was bolting across the road as Lil Sista was pulling in.
“What’s going on? What can I do?” She yelled from her car.
“Call 911 now!” I still didn’t have any idea what I was running toward. A second later we were all the first to arrive on the scene of an awful car accident. There were two cars badly damaged and so, instinctually perhaps, the four of us split up to check each of the cars. Chris went to the one with seemingly the most damage still on the road, and the unknown man and I went to the second car; face down in a ditch. The man opened the car door and we found only one passenger, I looked in the back seat and felt fear for the first time when I saw carseats. I instantly asked about the babies and the driver was able to tell me there were no kids in the car; the relief I felt after hearing this would make you think I was worried about my own son. We had her out of the car and laying on the grass in a few moments and, as we checked her for injuries, she whispered for me to please call her husband. Her phone was still in her hand being gripped tightly.
“Hey Baby!” A man answered.
“Hello, sir. This is not your wife, I’m calling on her behalf. She’s been in a car accident but she’s awake and she seems to be ok. She asked me to call you, I think she wants you to come down here.”
Silence and then “Ok, she’s ok? Where is she?”
I gave him our location and he said he was on his way. A heavy feeling came over me and my adrenaline slowed down. The man told me he couldn’t find any injuries, so I took her hand in mine and told her she was looking good as the sirens from the firetrucks started to swell through the air. She started hyperventilating.
I thought for a second about what in the world I can do for this poor soul; pray. Lil Sista sat down next to me and started putting blankets over the woman.
“I’m going to pray for you now. I think you’ll be absolutely fine…” Lil Sista laid one hand on me and one hand on the soul for which we were praying, the man helping me put a hand on her and a hand on me as well, which caught me off guard…I guess I didn’t expect him to be a Christian. I held her hands and asked for the Lord to heal her body and calm her spirit and for the first responders to be swift….I said amen as the firefighters showed up and replaced the three of us and we stood up…with nothing left to do. We started walking back toward the gym, not saying much to one another. Chris was still helping the woman in the other car, she was trapped behind the wheel apparently.
A little while later we were all back at the gym talking about the crash; turns out the man helping me was the father of one of the athletes Red was training when the crash happened. I’d never met him before. It was getting late, so Lil Sista and I decided to call it a night and start again the next morning. Tony said he’s stick around in case anyone else showed up to donate. We grew to love Tony very quickly.
Saturday went just as the days before and we ended the three days with a warehouse full of everything from Diapers and First Aid Kits to Children’s Toys and baby formula; everything you can think of. People’s generosity was mind blowing. We decided it must just be Texans helping Texans :0) What a special thing to witness, how much we love one another. Yet again, God had provided WAY more than we anticipated. Why is it that we never expect God’s abundance? I gotta work on that.
So Lil Sista then observes something that should have been obvious to me but hadn’t penetrated my happy bubble just yet:
“So how are we going to get this stuff down there?”
There was no way, apart from making 25 trips, that we were fitting all of this into our cars and trucks. A man had replied to our post about taking donations and offered his trailers, but that was a few days earlier and we weren’t sure they’d still be available. Lil Sista called him Sat night, before we decided to just go rent a moving truck, and he said he’d be there with his 28′ trailer and his slightly smaller trailer.
“That’s amazing! Wait, how are we going to haul trailers?” I manage to find the downside of any sitch in a hurry, lol.
“He has the trucks too.” Lil Sista replied with an obvious tone.
“Mmmkay, but I’ve never driven a truck with a trailer on it.”
“Dude, he has the drivers. You need to quit worrying.” Lil Sista was talking but I knew it was God telling me He’s got this.
“So he’s coming to help us load up all this stuff into his trailers on a moments notice and he’s going to drive it all down there for us? For free?”
Yes, he was. And God wasn’t done with His little miracles. There were many more to come :0)