Blogger: Rachel Kent
Last Saturday, a group from my church went to the areas burned last month by the Valley Fire to help with some of the needs of the community. One group sorted donations at the local Lion’s Club. Another group put up drywall in a home. A third group built a fence to pen in some animals. My group sifted and cleared ashes at a home that was completely destroyed by fire. The house we were working at was approximately 2 miles away from the origin of the fire and everything in the area was touched by the flames. Michelle Ule was in my group, too.
I am so glad I was able to go out and serve in person. I was praying for the people affected by the fire, but to get out there to help, to listen to the stories, to pray with the fire victims, was wonderful on so many levels. It was hard, sobering work, but it felt good to help. I’m hoping to go back to help more soon.
I think as writers, agents, and editors, we tend to lock ourselves up in our offices–working away–and it can be hard to remember to step outside of ourselves to serve the community around us as the hands and feet of Christ. Yes, we serve through writing (agenting and editing), but there are many other ways we can help, too.
Through serving hurting people we can also find so many stories to use–both real and fictional. We can study what real people are like and what they need. It’s one thing to imagine how someone who’s lost everything in a fire would be, but to actually talk with someone and be there with them sifting the ashes gives a better picture of the reality. Getting out of our homes and into the community help those around us, but also helps us to write authentic books that are beneficial to readers.
Yes, continue to pray for others–but is there a way you can serve them in person, too? I’m going to work on taking more time for service.
What are some ways you have been able to help your community?
Michelle has also blogged about our service. Check it out here: http://michelleule.com/2015/10/23/digging-through-an-ash-filled-house/