Somewhere on the order of twenty four inches of rain fell on the great state of Louisiana last week and thousands were affected. I can’t even begin to imagine how many people lost everything in the flooding. Here we are nine days later and the water has finally receded from the only road to my house. We had to get creative to get to and from home because of this. I only had some minor flooding in the living room and I think we cut the pad out in time to rescue the carpet. My problems pale in comparison to those we are serving this week in Monroe, LA.
As a Mercy Chef, I serve alongside many talented chefs to provide restaurant quality food to victims, volunteers, and first responders. Our numbers have been increasing daily. As I headed home today, I was advised we prepared 1000 meals at lunchtime. The hours are long and the work is strenuous–over two and a half days I worked nearly 40 hours.
As I lay in bed reflecting on the past few days my body, my swollen hands, aching back, and angry feet remind me that I’m going to pay for it. But I’m in my bed. I’m not cramped in a Motel 6 relying on the kindness of strangers to meet my basic needs. I’m in my warm home listening to my sixteen year old daughter practice her piccolo solo.
My friends are still serving in Monroe as the need is great. We don’t do anything special. In comparison to other disaster relief ministries one might think we don’t do much at all. And they would be right. We provide a meal. It’s intransient, yet a hot meal brings comfort in crisis.
I’m reminded of Luke 14:12-14:
“When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you.”
That’s what Mercy Chefs does.