After suffering from persistent health issues, my wife and I discovered that our home had a severe mold problem. Unfortunately, post-Katrina construction workers took advantage of our landlady when she tried to rebuild her house. As a retired psychologist turned schoolteacher who struggles with PTSD, Lily (not her real name) has few resources.
My wife and I immediately surrounded Lily in Jesus’ love and reassurance. Drawing from my experience building homes while serving in AmeriCorps, my wife’s adventurous spirit, and the expertise of another member of Communitas, we offered to rebuild the affected room for Lily. Though we had no funds to spare, we were reminded, “the Lord is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing.”
So, we handed the situation over to God and, not surprisingly, he provided the time and resources that we needed to complete the build. More importantly, this was yet another opportunity God provided for us to bless Lily.
One afternoon during the rebuild I sat on an egg crate in Lily’s living room, her in a lawn chair, as she stared at me and said, “I just can’t understand why you guys would do this for me. I am so lucky to have y’all in my life and living around me.” Without hesitation, I told her that we loved her, that she deserved it, and that she is blessed—not lucky, blessed.
Lily still can’t fully wrap her mind around what we did and why we did it, but as she processes it, the Lord is becoming more evident to her. Last week Lily sought my wife out at Matthew’s Table, our weekly community dinner. As tears welled up in her eyes, she told my wife that she was so thankful for us and then continued to sit quietly with her.
Could we have just done the job? Yes. But we are called to live as Jesus did—to incarnationally love others and give sacrificially. By keeping the Lord at the forefront of our lives, Lily experienced him in a way that she cannot even put into words yet.
New Orleans, Louisiana