It's Winter in Alabama or at least the calendar says it is so. However the temperature seems more like Spring and with that warmth have come the storms. Last Monday morning early there were a bought of tornados here in Birmingham. Areas north of us were hit extremely hard with whole neighborhoods being heavily damaged.
One of the couples in our church whose home was damaged live in that area of town. On Saturday I went to help them do whatever was needed to begin the process of recovery. Arriving there was like traveling through a war zone. What were houses now looked like huge piles of sticks with trees scattered all around pushed over by the high winds. The tornado had mostly spared their home but had removed most of the trees in their wooded yard.
Awaking at 4am Monday morning to the sounds, they had made it into the hallway from their bedroom before the tornado struck blowing out windows. In a few seconds the storm had passed leaving them unharmed but traumatized emotionally. Looking at all the damage around their home, it was a blessing to learn that no one had received serious injuries just scratches, bruises and terrifying memories of the storm.
As we began to work clearing debris there was a group of people helping. I asked them how they knew our friends. Interestingly they told me they didn't know them at all. Just a group of people helping someone else who was in need. As I looked around the same thing was going on at other homes. People helping to cut down damaged trees while others brought food and water to those volunteering.
There were officials of course but mostly volunteers. It was so encouraging to see church groups and neighbors, people helping others through a difficult time. It's something we need more of in these trying times. People helping others without asking anything in return. It's a spirit of mercy and compassion, something God given from the Father of all mercy. Zechariah 7:9