Rising waters, raising expectations, and lifting up one another

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Jacob’s Well is a coffee house and restaurant in Old Hickory, Tn. I haven’t even visited the eatery yet, and I’m already in love with the place simply because of this post. As I speak of the people who own and/or manage Jacob’s Well, I choose to refer to the business name because I don’t know the people behind the sign.

In Davidson County , August 8, 2013, began with rain. And more rain.  So much rain that Briley Parkway beneath Interstate 24 was closed for a time because the flood waters made it impassable. The communities east and northeast of Nashville were once again subjected to flooding. While the affected areas and the number of people involved were much smaller than the 2010 floods that brought Music City to a temporary halt, the truth of a natural disaster remains. When it’s your home, it’s as monumental a loss as if it were the entire neighborhood. Your world must stop while you deal with the results.

In addition to losing water-logged personal treasures, being stranded in homes and on roofs, and worrying because the rain hasn’t yet stopped, the processes of being human continue. People get hungry and thirsty, and they need to use the restroom, bathe, or take medication. They must care for children or ailing family members. Any one of those tasks becomes difficult, if not impossible, while your home has even six inches of water inside it. According to reports, today’s rains flooded apartment buildings, submerged cars, and at least one sewer valve malfunctioned resulting in raw sewage bubbling from sinks, tubs, and toilets. Another basement held six feet of water. At the time of this writing, more rain is on the way tonight; even more tomorrow.

While a coffee house isn’t designed, built, or equipped to solve any of those problems, Jacob’s Well found a way to help those who are suffering in their community. They posted the photo above with an offer of lunch “on us” for those dealing with too much water on a soggy day. I’m reminded of a sermon I heard once, and a thought put forth often– do what you can, with what you have, where you are.  Jacob’s Well is in Old Hickory and they serve food. The staff/owners have decided to give that food to folks who need a bright spot in a gloomy, wet, and dismal day. FREE. I shared the photo on Facebook with the comment that “THIS is what Christianity looks like.”

Jacob’s Well hasn’t said that they will give food to only those who demonstrate that they spent a defined number of hours bailing water out of a basement. They probably aren’t going to hold onto the best food for the paying customers either. They may have done it because it will increase traffic to the business and serve them well financially in the long run, but I doubt that’s the primary reason. The owners haven’t made this choice because they were called upon to do so by a politician or spiritual leader who poured on the guilt or threatened legal action.  Why then? Because Jacob’s Well’s menu has sandwiches and coffee, not buckets and mops. Yet as members of the community, they feel an obligation to help. This is Christ-like. Will they lose money today by giving away their stock? It’s possible, but not likely. Any monetary loss will be more that recovered by the gratitude and customer loyalty created by the establishment’s actions.

Here’s the link to the coffee house’s page: Jacob’s Well in Old Hickory, TN.

Remember the name. Remember what they do. Let’s do what they do, with what we have, where we are.

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And so it begins…

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“C’mon— everybody’s doing it!”

“You know you wanna!”

“Don’t be a sissy– just start typing for Pete’s sake!!! Geesh!”

Yeah– that’s not exactly the most elegant or dignified methods of starting an online blog, but it’s pretty much how conversations go in my own head on a daily basis about pretty much everything. I actually joined WordPress in June, and it’s taken me this long to get back here and take the first steps. I’ve enjoyed writing since I was a child, and I seem to have a way of explaining complicated ideas in easy to understand terms. However, I’ve often been known to thoroughly over-explain something to the point of nausea; or worse, feel as though I’m explaining myself with perfect clarify–as clearly as the glass pane on a sliding door just before the cat runs headlong into it as it attempts to escape the wrath of the new puppy–or toddler– only to discover moments later that my listener has either dozed off in boredom, is experiencing a medical emergency as a result of his/her attempts to comprehend what in the world I was saying, or simply become hypnotized by the sound of my voice and requires a mysterious signal word to bring him/her back to consciousness.

See what I mean?!

However, I am nothing if not the helping type. Whether you need my help or not. At the very least I hope that we can laugh, share, vent, brag, and even brainstorm together. There’s too much negativity in the world. I’m positive it’s true.

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