The Heartbeat of America is Alive and Well
They lined up as far as the eye could see, the sun over the stadium casting the all-telling shadow over them as they waited. Inside the stadium, volunteers unpacked boxes, set up tables, cooked food. In just moments, lives would change.
For the workers, it seems like not enough time to get things ready. For those who waited outside, the moment would not come soon enough.
I walked slowly through the crowd with the other workers, praying for and pronouncing blessings on these citizens of Henderson, Kentucky. An elderly man saw my knee brace and said he needed one too. He raised his shorts and showed me scars from surgeries. Had mine fit his enormous leg, I would have given to him.
Mothers with children asked that we pray that their daddies would be released from jail. They were too young to understand he’d committed a crime. They just felt the gigantic hole it left in their hearts since daddy left. A lone child stood in the wings listening intently as we prayed for a particular family. As the team walked away, she tugged at Melody’s hand and quietly asked if she could pray for her daddy. He was in jail, too.
Those in need lined up in complete orderly fashion, patiently waiting for their turn at each booth. No pushing. No shoving. Just grateful realization that people in this town understand they have needs and are doing something about it.
Mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters walked together, hoping against hope that their lives would improve today. Wide-eyed children took balloons and candy from agency tables as moms filled out applications to receive aid and other assistance. One end zone was filled with clothing, shoes, books and toys donated and manned by Goodwill Industries.
The other end held a prayer tent, filled with volunteers ready to intercede for the needs of others. Between helping with the event, I walked around observing how this town takes care of its own. Rich, poor, young, old all together in one place working together to make life better.
As a praise band sang and prayer blasted from the stadium PA system, I knew in no uncertain terms that the heartbeat of America is alive and well. God is still on the throne in Kentucky and hearts are still tender toward neighbors in need.
I left there and went to a block party in an underprivileged neighborhood. We cooked hotdogs, hamburgers and offered fun and
fellowship to people who just don’t normally receive and outreached hand… well, except in Henderson. Kids played on inflatable obstacle courses while others looked on, eyes gleaming as they anticipated their turn.
They were grateful. Joyful. Filled with wonder that total strangers would reach out to them where they live and extend the right hand of fellowship. It was a good day Saturday in Western Kentucky. God is very much present on the Ohio River and the heartbeat of America is alive and well.
There’s a lot of gold in Henderson, Kentucky. It fills the hearts of the kind people here and they can’t rest until they use that prosperity to help their fellow citizens who are in need. Thank you for reminding me how people should act.