9/18/05

I have a confession to make.

I didn't want to go to Louisiana.

Almost immediately after it was clear how many people were displaced, Dave became a man with a mission. He was going down there no matter what, if the means could be achieved. He worked like a madman to achieve those means, and did succeed in 1) finding a truck, 2) finding stuff to put in the truck, and 3) finding someone to deliver it to.

As he was beginning this mission, I gave it a few minutes of thought and then let him know that I would attempt to join him if he needed me. As the days passed, I became aware of how crucial my support was becoming. But also as the days passed, I grew more uneasy of making the committment and actually making it happen. In recent years, I have become very purposeful/deliberate with my decisions, trying to make the most efficient use of my resources. I worried that going down there was a rash decision, made on the spur of a moment, with little critical thought given to whether this was a wise use of time and money. I still believe that there is just as important work here and now, of the same importance as the hurricane relief effort, that doesn't take 15 hours to get to and many tanks of gas.

In the days leading up to the trip, my decided purpose in going was to support my friend, to be his right hand, per se. I knew the trip was a large undertaking and simply wanted to shoulder some of the load. Notice that none of this was really about the victims, because I was fairly certain we wouldn't be of any special help really.

Enter the trip. Dale was incredible. His family was incredible. His work was incredible, and we got to be a part of it. Far from being a waste, we got to be part of a relief effort that resembled a professional project the likes of which Red Cross would spearhead themselves. What else? We got to deliver to many of our friends and co-workers a tangible taste of the relief effort. We got do discover exactly how extraordinary Baton Rouge has been pulling together during this crisis, and not crumbling under the load as we've been told.

So, I was both happy and humbled as I began to realize how a foolhardy undertaking was transformed into a powerful work of charity. Thank God for annointing this time, enabling us to make this happen, and sending us to Dale Mathews.