Just Before Midnight
I was having trouble getting to sleep, so I got up for a glass of water. When I returned to my bed I noticed that my cell phone was flashing. It was a message from my sister-in-law in Cambria Wisconsin.
“We are ok.. Lincolns house shook…and Didion exploded … Thank God Michael and Lincoln are ok … they were not working.. rest of family ok so far ethanol plant did not explode “
Cambria is my hometown.
And Didion Milling is the major employer in our small village. I have 3 family members employed at Didion and many other connections from school and church.
Now in the aftermath, one has to wonder what the future is for these families. Even those that were unharmed or not working at the time are now facing reality. Saying goodbye to young friends today. Wondering, “What next?” “How will I support my family? I have no job. My future is gone.”
I can somewhat relate to the situation.
While a different situation, my husband and I stood at the same crossroad nearly two years ago. There wasn’t a real explosion but there was an explosion of personalities that left us without a job and without a home. We suffered the loss of friendships, and so much more. We wondered what our future would hold, as well.
One thing kept us strong.
Those first days were filled with shock and sadness. We weren’t sure what we should do. Following days were filled with loneliness and frustration as we tried to find new work to no avail. We were 54 and 63 in a world set for people in their 30’s and 40’s. We finally had to take an early retirement just to have a way to survive. Our small pension did not last long.
But one thing held us strong. Our passion for the Lord. Staying steeped in His Word held us steady in the first days and weeks and months. He is still holding us tightly.
Lamentations For the Future
Many of us are familiar with the scripture from Lamentations 3
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
These words have always been a comfort to me but as I read this chapter from the New Living Translation, the preceding verses came alive to me.
I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss.
21 Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”
When going through a trial of any kind, it is always good to know that our future is in the Lord’s hands. He makes all things new. He gives us an inheritance far beyond earthly value.
Getting Back to Cambria
Thank Heaven for Friends and Neighbors. It is always encouraging to see friends and family come to the rescue. Even strangers come out to help. And this is all good but many times, in a week or so, everyone returns back to their own lives. They don’t really think much about those that have lost loved ones or lost jobs or homes. You see, for these folks, the nightmare continues, sometimes for months or even years.
What Can We Do?
The greatest thing we can do is keep in touch. Let them know you are thinking about them. And not just for the next week or so. Do it for the next year. Put a reminder in your phone to give them a call at regular intervals. This would mean the world to them.
Even if you have told them, “Let me know if you need anything.” Check back or better yet just do something. (buy some groceries, babysit their kids, clean house, drop by for a visit, arrange to come and watch a comedy with them) And this is just a start.
Another critical thing you can do is to remember them in your prayers. I have a prayer app on my phone where I add any requests that come to me. It will remind me to pray and keeps their need before me.
This prayer showed up on my FB feed last week. It was so appropriate to the time. I find it to be very good for most situations. Maybe you would like to use it.
And One Last Thing
The people of Cambria will be hurting for a long time. It’s a very small village of fewer than 1,000 people. Everyone was affected by this. Tragedy often leaves those involved hurting financially. Consider giving a financial gift to help them out.
A fund has been set up at National Exchange Bank of Cambria to be used for those affected by the explosion. Anyone interested in making a donation to help is asked to send checks to:
Old Mill Foundation Didion Benefit Fund
National Exchange Bank
118 West Edgewater Street
P.O. Box 338
Cambria, Wisconsin 53923
I just heard that one of the injured has passed away bringing the death toll to 4. 🙁
Feeling their Pain with Hope for the Future;
I’m a little late but I’m linking up with the newly designed Five Minute Fridays where we are given a prompt and we write for five minutes. Yes, I wrote much longer than that. God Bless!