As I was tucking Carter in tonight and praying with him, we were reminiscing about today.  WOW, what a day.

In the aftermath of the big ice storm this week and a major tree crashing onto my father in laws house, we were all set for clean up today.  The three kids and Tom and I headed over what we anticipated to be a long day of cleaning up brances, and cutting on the tree.  When we got there and started, I’ll be honest, it was a bit overwhelming.  three kids, a husband with a bum arm and me.  As we looked in whatever direction, all we could see was some thing that needed to be picked up and carried to the curb.   Here’s just what was on the house before it was removed by the professionals and left on the ground…

We are blessed to live in a town where they promptly guided citizens to just get their branches to the curb and arranged a time for pick up from the curb.  When you see photos, you will realize that this is NO SMALL DEAL for the city.  It’s unreal and surreal driving around this small town, all at the same time.  This photo is just a small part of the branches.  I would guess the middle pile to be about 6 1/2 feet high or so….  and ALL of the streets in town are lined with this out front…

Here’s what happens when you live in “community”.  I ran to get my brother in laws chain saw.  When I got back, this place was swarming with people.  Each carrying branches and running chain saws.  From our meger 5 to another 25 it was like an assembly line.  And in 1/2 hour, we were finished.  We went from wondering if all day would get us close to done to finished.  I won’t lie, when I pulled up and saw this…. I cried.  (those of you that know WON’T be surprised by this:-)

They were all so jolly happy and kind.  And in a moment like that, you’re reminded of what it means to live in community.  In the times of chaos, community just chips in.  These people saw Tom and the kids out working and just pulled up in pickup trucks and started helping.  20 ish Dordt College kids and some guys from Van Holland Lawn Service.  They didn’t expect to get paid, they weren’t asking for anything, they were just loving their neighbors.  Tomorrow they are joining us for a “thank you” dinner.  Can’t wait to learn more about them!

You see, when enjoy giving, it is SO hard to receive.  Tom just looked at me and said – “humbling huh?”  and that really summed it up.

As Carter and I prayed tonight, I was reminded of what Emma had said earlier – Dad, I think they made Jesus smile (which is our family mission….)  And then it came to me.  These helpers, they were like angels among us.  They came out of no where and just helped.  And while they had earthly names and faces, they were certainly used by God today.  Not only with their hands, but more so with their hearts.

After they jumped back into pickup trucks and drove away, our kids said, hey lets go find someone to help.  You see, they had seen love in action.  They had experienced the blessing, and they wanted to be that to someone else.  Well, sure enough we found a neighbor to help, and had a great time doing it.  (And scored some great cookies!)  But, today will be a day that I remember and I’m certain that it will change my kids forever.

Praising God that he sends his angels….   both in the heavenly realms and in the earthly realms.  And Emma was right, I do think that Jesus smiled over Sioux Center today!  THIS is what his Acts church and his community was meant to look like:-)