Friday, May 27, 2011

Loaves and Fishes and the Tornado in Joplin

Sunday's tornado in Joplin continues to be in the news, on my mind -- and in my heart.

This week, a local business put out the word they would have a truck collecting donations on Thursday at a local grocery store not far from our home. The business asked for donations of food and personal-care items that the folks in Joplin could use as they recover from the tornado damage.

My husband Walt and I decided we wanted to do something.

We aren't wealthy. We're both retired and, for more than six years, we have been raising our grandchildren, Cari and Michael. Our lives have been touched in the past by the kindness of strangers who helped us through dark times. While our days have been marked by deep sorrow, we've also been blessed in many ways and live a comfortable and joyful life.

Anyway, yesterday while I was at Michael's school for field day, Walt went out and bought enough groceries to fill a large banana box with canned goods, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, wet wipes, and mostly personal-use items.

When he got to the parking lot of the grocery store, he was amazed and happy at what he saw. The parking lot was full of people waiting to hand over their donations, while more than five grocery carts overflowing with previously donated items were being loaded into the truck. Walt said he saw people donating everything from dog food to diapers. One woman alone donated 1,000 diapers.

The business sponsoring the event had hoped to fill one truck to drive down to Joplin. As it turns out, by the end of the day they had filled three tractor trailers!

Last night, as Walt described what he saw in the grocery store parking lot, I thought about the miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes. After Jesus finished preaching, he asked his disciples to pass out food to the hungry crowd. Only five loaves and two fishes could be found. The food was passed out and Jesus blessed it. After everyone was fed, twelve baskets of food were left over.

In times like this, when our hearts are open and we are moved by the Spirit, our love is not divided--it is multiplied.


  1. Wonderful! Isn't it amazing how generous many people are? Which store was this? Are they still collecting?

  2. Hi Becky,
    It was at Dierberg's on Hwy K & N in O'Fallon. I think the main collection was just yesterday, but a church in St. Peters is still collecting. It's the big church on Mid Rivers Mall Drive. I don't have details, but If I find out more, I'll let you know.

  3. Please do let us know, Donna, if you get information on places that are currently/still collecting. I would love to contribute.

  4. Donna,
    I decided to get off my lazy butt and surf myself...I posted about the several area malls that are collecting, and provided a link.

    Thanks for the nudge...

  5. A simple rule to live by: do unto others. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. Thank you, Donna. I44 is pretty busy right now and lot of it is help going to Joplin. Coming home from Springfield's doctor appt. yesterday we passed a school bus full of diapers, water, and food. I cried as we passed it and gave the man a thumbs up which he returned. The generosity of people everywhere is so amazing. I am reminded that "by being broken we are made whole."

  7. Hi Sioux,
    Thank you for posting the link on your blog.

    Hi Linda,

    Hi Bookie (Claudia),
    It is amazing. Hang in there, girl. I was happy to hear all the writers in your Joplin chapter are safe and sound. Please keep me posted if you need anything.


  8. That is wonderful! Continuing to pray for those affected.

  9. Hi Karen,
    Thanks. Prayer always helps!

  10. The grace of the common people shines bright in crisis and in quiet need. Thanking God.

  11. Hi Sally,
    How true. What a lovely way to put it.


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