Random Acts of "Kindness"

CHAPLAINS

It will come as no surprise when I admit that I talk to strangers on a regular basis. I just realized that within the past two months, three chaplains have crossed my path. Since June 22 when the tornado descended on Woodhaven Lakes, various teams from the Southern Baptist Disaster Ministry have been on property helping to clear the fallen trees. I have recently learned two interesting facts or theories. The first is that there were two tornadoes interacting over Woodhaven. The first stayed air born and sheared the tops off of trees. The second interacted with the first and jumped across the landscape uprooting trees and causing major destruction. They think anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 trees were affected. I don’t know where these facts are coming from but it does explain the number of trees that are uprooted. It didn’t help that June was a very wet month and the ground was saturated. The help from many people and organizations was desperately needed.

I don’t pay too much attention when something happens one time. The second time the same idea might cause me to pay a little bit more attention but when I notice the third, I wonder. I met the first chaplain soon after we gained admittance to property. A team from Southern Illinois were across from our lot cutting the trees in the little park. I wandered across to talk and learned of their mission. That was my first interaction with a Chaplain, who resides in Springfield, IL. I went to their command post on property, and signed up, requesting their help. The double trunk tree over our motor home required more equipment than the Southern Baptist had with them so we hired a professional team. Once the trees were cut, I went back to control central and asked them to take our request off their stack.

So many people asked for their help that they returned, with different teams a second and third time. I was really surprised when I saw their yellow shirts and equipment when we returned to Woodhaven after our trip to Florida. We still had trees that needed to be cut down, so I returned to Command Central to fill out another form. We have two trees down on our property that have fallen on the lot behind us. I asked the association to phone the owner requesting their permission to cut the fallen trees. Leaving Command Central, I met my second Chaplain. She lives in Sugar Grove, IL. She was part of the team that first assessed our needs, then returned to clear the trees. As she left the campground for the week, I was up at the main gate to say goodbye and thank them for their help.

The last Chaplain I met was from Houston, TX. He said that he was not ordained, and he doesn’t speak at their services. I’m regretting that I didn’t delve into this idea further. I’m sure that he is so glad that he met me since I gave him a new idea — there is life immediately after death, not only for humans, but for animals too. I had already admitted that I argue with God, but never win and walk to a different drummer. He explained that there was nothing in the bible that mentioned animals having a soul, or crossing over . To which I replied that the Bible was written by man inspired by God, but it didn’t contain everything. I mentioned that I had personal experience seeing the spirit of our deceased dog running through our house. With that he asked if he could pray for me.

THREE CHAPLAINS — I wonder, is there more to this than just meeting three Chaplains?

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