After Sunday morning when the news broke about the Orlando terrorist attack, I felt so helpless.
Of course, I had been praying for the families affected. It was only about three hours away. But surely there was SOMETHING I could DO.
As I went to pick up Bliss from work, I mentioned to her boss (my good friend Chris Gannon) that I wanted to GO to Orlando and bring food to families or first-responders…anyone really that we could help.
With a nod and a smile he asked his kitchen crew to get busy. Within minutes, we had tins full of delicious barbecue chicken, roasted Cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and jasmin rice. Chris even threw in several dozen cookies and everything we needed to serve the food– plates, utensils and all.
So just like that, we were on our way to Orlando looking for a way to serve.
As we left, Chris mentioned we contact his friend Eric who lived locally and may be able to help us.
Three hours later we were in Orlando. Thinking if we could just make our way to the club that was the scene of the attack, maybe we would find family members or hungry security officers. Locating the club on the map, I noticed this:
Yes, that’s right. The street was blocked off in the shape of a cross.
Obviously, there was no getting near the club. So we headed to the hospital. Every police officer we saw, we offered food. Staff at the hospital said the victims were spread throughout the hospital and security was on high alert…there was no getting in.
Steve, our new friend from Eric’s Bible study, helped us navigate the city and and we made our way to the communications center. What we walked into was an FBI, Red Cross, and Police Headquarter Emergency Management. Jackpot.
We made friends with the Red Cross volunteers (including one young man whose friend had been at the club and lost his life) and helped them to some yummy food and freshly baked cookies from Bolay. Our job complete, we took Steve home.
So why did we do it? Why did we drive to Orlando to deliver food to complete strangers?
Because we love. We love because Christ first loved us. We love our country, we love our people, we love those who love Jesus and we love those who have yet to discover His love. And how, without reaching out to anyone and everyone in kindness and compassion, will the love of Jesus be felt when tragedy strikes?