Today I took the boys to "school" and headed down to Calvary to volunteer for a few hours. I got to work in the free daycare program we are offering. We offer daycare for families who need it due to circumstances and for volunteers. I had a great four hours loving on some sweet babies. I was so incredibly proud of my church family and all the many projects and things underway to help heal the city and its people. After working at the church I decided to brave a trip to Target. I had a formula coupon that I could only use at Target and five dollars is five dollars these days. McFarland has been open since Saturday and I figured, how bad can it be? Well it was bad. And I completely lost it. It wasn't as bad walking the streets of my students' trying to imagine how they possibly made it out of this storm. But this time I was in the privacy of my own car. And I wasn't trying to be brave for anyone. And I was looking at a intersection that is normally bustling with commerce and life;a shopping center where I visited Hobby Lobby and my gym several times a week that was now nothing; a vast expanse encompassing blocks and blocks of rubble where I should have seen restaurants and a neighborhood. I too quickly forgot about the hope being built at the church I had just left and the masses of donations and stories puring in on every available form of media.
I went into Target and it hit me that tomorrow I will be facing the unknown. Will all the kids come to school seeking safety and normality? Are some of my kids among the rumored dead and missing? Will they want answers or not to speak of the past week? Will there be division among the safe and unsafe? Will there be the unity and love visible in other parts of the city? And so I hid. In the makeup section. I tested eye shadows and then I went to look at pretty springy dresses and plates. And then market umbrellas. And people loaded down with paper towels and water and diapers and prepared foods rolled quickly past me. A few gave me odd looks. I know what they were thinking...."How can that lady be thinking of makeup and dresses right now??" (I know it because I have had those same judging thoughts about others this week.) Because I was hiding. As if maybe staying inside Target would make the lost buildings and houses reappear and put breath back in those that are lost.
But I cannot hide from tomorrow. God wants to use me. Perhaps tomorrow is the reason He has kept me in this city so long. Or perhaps tomorrow is a day where I see even more of His grace and plan for my life. Or maybe tomorrow will just be another day in a long road towards healing. Whatever it may hold I ask those of you who read this to pray. Selfishly I ask you to pray for me. That I would be able to be a vessel for His healing waters. I hope to be arms to hold and a voice to comfort. I ask you you to pray that I would know when to speak and when to hold my tongue. I ask that you would pray that I would know what and how to teach. I ask that you pray for my co workers. And mostly pray for my students. That school would be safe for them. That they would have peace and strength and love for each other.