Our hearts, thoughts,
and prayers are with
all of those affected
by Hurricane Harvey.
Note: It is 4:05 AM on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 and I’ve been up for a few hours now. The devastation from Hurricane Harvey is unthinkably catastrophic. Yet, it is all unfolding in real time in front of our very eyes through volumes of amateur and professional video documentation.
Images of residents in a nursing home sitting waist deep in water, a terrified, cold, wet dog sitting on the roof of the family car parked in a driveway in 4 feet of water, and a man carrying two children to safety are seared into our collective minds forever.
We ARE the UNITED States of America – When some of us hurt – We ALL hurt. Politicism of this tragedy is egregious and unconscionable. There are no red or blue sides of this horrific flood.
It will take years for that region to recover from this disaster. We need to roll up our sleeves and stand with them for the long haul. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
In the midst of it all, we’ve seen heroes emerge from the raging waters…
There was the Houston Police SWAT officer who carried a distressed mother and her young son across the floodwaters. It brought tears to our eyes. He represents hundreds of other police officers, fire department personnel, members of the military, and medical workers who are diligently working side-by-side to help out during this calamity.
There were the myriads of volunteers who travelled for miles and miles to work tirelessly for hours doing anything and everything they could to help the situation. They renewed our faith in humanity.
There’s the doctor who canoed to the hospital to perform emergency surgery to save a teenager’s life. If I needed surgery, I’d gladly travel a bazillion miles just so he could be my surgeon.
And then there’s Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale… Tears are pouring down my face as I try to write this… Over the weekend, this beloved, local furniture store owner opened up two of his showrooms as makeshift shelters for evacuees.
In a video he posted on Facebook, he said, “We’ve got lots of beds, we’ve got lots of food, we’ve got water and you can even bring your animals.” In addition, he dispatched his furniture delivery trucks to rescue people from the rising waters.
If that wasn’t enough… “Mattress Mack” proceeded to give out his cell phone number for people to call if they needed anything. I’m stunned, speechless, and a blubbering pile of goo.
Without blinking an eye, “Mattress Mack” immediately used the resources at his disposal to provide evacuees a safe sanctuary from the storm – which is a more loving “sanctuary” than a certain rich, prosperity peddler (We often refer to this kind of belief system as “Name It – Claim It” or “Blab It – Grab It”) megachurch can ever hope to have. I don’t want to go into a tirade – though I’m very tempted to do so.
Did I mention that “Mattress Mack” also did this during Hurricane Katrina?
If I lived closer, I’m telling you, that I would buy every stick of furniture I ever needed from “Mattress Mack.” Seriously…
Wow… I didn’t mean this to turn into an actual post – it was just supposed to be an introductory paragraph to another post – but it had a mind of its own, I guess… I have lots to say about RHONY and RHOC… But that will have to be saved for another day… lol.
Not to get all Bible thumpy or anything, but I wanted to leave you with a parable (and a video that references it) that’s been stubbornly emblazoned on my brain as I learn more and more about the action and inactions of certain groups of individuals – Some whom are supposed to be faith-based.
Don’t get me wrong – There are LOTS of faith-based and non-faith-based people and organizations who were majorly involved in the rescuing efforts from the very beginning… But sadly, according to several reports, there was a certain megachurch who didn’t noticeably participate until their ungodly inactions were called out on social media.
See… Even God will resort to using social media to kick people out of their complacency and into action.
Unfortunately, the pastor was too busy whining to the Twitter police about the deluge of negative tweets he was receiving to actually feed and clothe those in need around him. I mean it’s not like he and his wife personally own a McMansion or anything…
The pastor actually blocked a whole bunch of people I know. Wait… Can he really do that? I mean I know he CAN… but SHOULD he be doing that? That just feels wonky to me…Doesn’t he have better things he could be doing right now?
I bet if God had a Twitter account, He would have blocked Mr. Megachurch, no?
The Sheep and the Goats
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did NOT do for one of the least of these, you did NOT do for me.’
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Matthew 25: 31-46, New International Version
Tribune Media Wire. “Houston’s ‘Mattress Mack’ Opens Furniture-Filled Stores to Flood Victims.” http://wgntv.com/ August 29, 2017. Accessed on August 30, 2017 at: http://wgntv.com/2017/08/29/houstons-mattress-mack-opens-furniture-filled-stores-to-flood-victims/
The Bible, New International Version, (1987) Grand Rapids, Michigan: The Zondervan Corporation. Specific Reference: Matthew 25: 31-46 via https://www.biblegateway.com. Accessed on August 30, 2017 at: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25&version=NIV.
McIngvale, Jim. 2017. Facebook “Live” posted on August 27, 2017 at 12:43 PM. Accessed on August 30, 2017 at: https://www.facebook.com/mattressmack/videos/1688294684523370/.
Photo is a screenshot from: McIngvale, Jim. 2017. Facebook “Live” posted on August 27, 2017 at 12:43 PM. Accessed on August 30, 2017 at: https://www.facebook.com/mattressmack/videos/1688294684523370/.
Keith Green was a pioneer of Contemporary Christian music who left this world way too soon. This song has been really on my mind recently for obvious reasons – and I hope you have time to listen to the end when he says, “And my friend – the only difference between these two groups of people according to these Scriptures, is what they did… and DIDN’T… DO!
This YouTube video was posted by Monum and entitled, “Keith Green – The Sheep And The Goats (live).”