I arrived at the small church in Silver Creek, Mississippi with a 26 foot truck loaded with everything from furniture to food. This was all donated material from people in the St. Louis area for the needy saints in Silver Creek. This little church had adopted hundreds of Katrina evacuees who had fled north and literally had found refuge by knocking on doors of strangers a hundred miles north of where they fled from.
Sister Sylvia took it upon herself to look after these folks and found them housing with members of the church and located food supplies that she distributed weekly. By the time I was led to her, some 8 months after the hurricane, her supplies had dwindled to a few cases of peanut butter. I documented her story and came home to share it with whoever would listen. Within a week I had the truck packed with supplies and was back to unload them.
While there a woman showed up whose car had broken down. She was the only other white person there that day. She watched as we all unloaded the truck and volunteers set out to organize the supplies so as to be distributed the next day. The woman just sat there watching in total amazement.
Finally she asked who I was and who the people were helping. I told I was just a free lance believer trying to help the best I could to relieve the suffering of others. She asked why I was helping a black church with supplies gathered from white people up north. I just looked at her funny and said "why not". Since God is color blind, why shouldn't I be also.
Before her ride came to pick her up, she drew me aside and told me of needs far worse than here down where she was from. She told me that down on the Alabama coast southwest of Mobile, evacuees were still living in tents and shooting each other for food. She said no one was helping these folks because they were not "nice people".
The next trip (a few days later) I went down in my van so I could establish more points of need. I headed off to rural Mobile county in search of those I had been told were in such dire need. Amazingly I was led to a place that just happened to be the only relief agency trying to help these people. I was put on the phone with a person a few miles away who was running a true relief center. We talked for awhile and I told I would find her a truck load of supplies within two days.
I persuaded a friend to drive his semi up to a warehouse in northern Mississippi and together we loaded his truck as full as was possible with everything we could fit in there, including a lot of medical equipment. The next day we totally unloaded his truck and his group took half of the goods and I rented a 26 foot truck to take to Alabama. We stuffed the truck as full as a truck could be with the final thing fitting in being a blue wheelchair.
I headed off for Alabama to a place I had never been to meet a person I had never met. Once there the place was crawling with volunteers ready to unload the truck. They were using a half finished church building as their headquarters. Before we started, I asked Carolyn (the director) what was needed most. She said medical supplies for many people had lost theirs in the floods during Katrina.
Carolyn slid out the walk ramp on the truck and standing on it she opened the sliding door on the truck. This is what she saw:
The minute that door was up and the blue chair was revealed, I never saw a person praise the Lord as I saw her then and there...On the ramp. She started jumping and waving her hands and screaming at the top of her lungs-"THANK YOU JESUS, PRAISE YOU JESUS, THANK YOU LORD". Everyone who was there was dancing and waving their arms and praising the Lord in ways I had never seen in my life. All because of a blue wheelchair.
As the truck got unloaded and more and more medical equipment made its way out, I noticed Carolyn take a pair of crutches outside. I followed and watched her give them to a person who was sitting on a car with no lower legs. They hugged and the person immediately started hopping all over the grounds with their new "legs". Tears were streaming down her eyes as she finally could move around again.
Soon thereafter I was told to go to the front of the church where an elderly woman was contentedly sitting in a blue wheelchair. She motioned for me to come to her where she hugged me as no one has ever hugged me in my life. The most thankful person in Alabama that day was not the woman in the chair, but ME. Never in my life was so humbled and so blessed as to have been a part of seeing one person's life totally changed by one blue chair donated by someone far away totally unaware their gift saved/changed and blessed people's lives that day as never before.
O glory be to God He lifted those people from the pit of their depression by your faithfulness in obeying the Lord!
Thank you B2Y... ... yes, yes... ... ... ... ... ...that is just what God wants us to do... ... ... ...to pass His love on!
Praise the Lord!
I read your blog earlier today. Of course, your mention of Silver Creek, Mississippi, made the blog more present and personal to me. Silver Creek is in Lawrence County, Mississippi, where I was born and where many, many of my relatives live.
Then, while I was moving about my day, I was thinking about it, and the Holy Spirit quickened something to me, which I would like to share with you. Please follow my thoughts all the way to their conclusion.
A "miracle" of a blue chair--that was how the providential appearance of the wheelchair seemed to the one who needed it, and those aware of her need. But was it a miracle? The wheelchair was manufactured somewhere, then purchased and used, then no longer needed, then donated, then put on a truck, then delivered to Silver Creek, Mississippi. Nothing supernatural about any of that, so is this truly a "miracle"? Hmm...
Then I thought about some of the miracles in the Bible, and how God always called on someone to DO something, in order to manifest the "miracle."
Was the saving of Noah and his family a "miracle"? God warned Noah of the impending flood. Noah listened and obeyed.
The preservation of Moses as a baby: "miracle"? God moved on the hearts of the Israelite midwives to spare the boy babes. Jochabed hid her child, then put him in a basket on the banks of the Nile and posted Miriam to watch for his safety. Jochabed ended up serving as wetnurse to her own child. "Miracle"? Or obedience, thereby opening the door and propping it open, to allow God's provision to be manifested?
The battles of Israel, when they were greatly outnumbered but prevailed and triumphed: miracle? God told the leader(s) to do thus and so, and they did it, and they overcame.
My point: What we call "miracles" are sometimes just God's way of manifesting an answer to a need, in a very immediate circumstances. We might see more "miracles" if we'd do as Noah and Jochabed and Gideon and the others in the "great cloud of witnesses"--simply obey God.
And I ask myself: Is God waiting on my obedience today, so that He can send a "miracle" my way?
Any time God "breaks" into our world unexpectedly is my definition of a "miracle". Often, He's willing to work them through the hands of his children by allowing us to deliver them! Meeting our needs right where we're at...that is our amazing God. Sometimes we're the receiver but other times we get to witness or deliver it. There are plenty of front row seats for all of us. All we have to do is letting God know we want to be where He is rather than demand he come with us. I think we sometimes have this backwards. We think he should be following us instead of us following Him. Once we start doing this we need to follow his directions!
Thank you so much for sharing this story of God's amazing love!
Patricia A. Lambert (@redeemed4ever)
What a cool connection!
Not to pester anyone, but I should have put this part in my earlier post:
In reference to the blue wheelchair, everybody in the "chain of custody" had to be obedient, in order for that chair to get to Silver Creek, Mississippi. This is true in lots of miracles in the Bible, too--the cooperative effort of many was required, thus opening the door and propping it open, for God to enter the situation.
This is a beautiful example of God's love and the love of one for his God - for in obedience His love has been shared and the miracles manifested.
I'd dare say no one will convince those on the receiving end that the whole truck load gift was not a Miracle!
May I say that whether the blue chair was really a "miracle" or just God being COOL, either way, the person who ended up with it thought it was the most amazing thing they ever saw in their life. That is all that counts when it comes to blessing people, just allow them to see what the love of God can accomplish in manifestation.
Perhaps looking back, I should have entitled this blog "The Amazing Journey of the Blue Chair".
Brother, I apologize to you if I offended you in any manner at all by my response to your blog. It was certainly not my intention. When I read your blog this morning, I didn't comment on it at all. As I said, I went about my day, thinking about what you had written, reflecting on the chain of obedience necessary to get the blessing from Point A to Point B, and wondering if we'd see more acts of divine providence if we were all as obedient to the calling as you and your co-workers.
Again, my apologies if I offended anyone.
Not to worry, no offense taken and no apologies needed. You brought up a very valid point in that at times we (myself included) use the word "miracle" in a way that is not strictly speaking correct. Officially, the world miracle means the bringing to pass of something which was impossible except through God's help or intervention. Healing a man born blind is a miracle. Parting the Red Sea is a miracle. ect.
How that chair made it to the woman who needed in Alabama was not so much a miracle as a great example of God's angels and servants at work doing their jobs flawlessly. In that sense, what you wrote was totally right on. Please do not feel badly about what you said, for I don't.