I saw that yesterday in our hometown of Rainelle.
Despite my guesstimate of 85-90% of the town’s homes and businesses being devastated by the flood, I saw people shine. With every reason to despair and cry, I instead saw determination and peace and productivity.
Rather than bemoaning the inches of mud covering her belongings, I watched Debbie Pennington praise God that all of her pets were finally safely accounted for. As we tore up the ruined flooring at Jack and Sis Boothe’s house, I heard Sis laugh and say, “Well, one thing’s for sure, when this mess all gets sorted out, I’ll have the most decluttered house in town!”
The few folks who weren’t flooded out certainly aren’t resting on their laurels (or their hind ends). They’re busy housing displaced residents and hauling trash for their neighbors. Joanne Meadows, a gracious woman down the street who I didn’t even have the privilege of knowing until yesterday, fired up her generator and spent all day baking homemade lasagnas to feed the crew of us working at Jack and Sis’s house (and by the way, the woman can COOK). Fred, Betty, and Mike Copen’s homes survived, so they were hard at work salvaging the belongings of others. Cheryl and Eddie Smailes worked all day in town and then went back home to Loops Road and spent hours rinsing off a friend's family photos. Nicole Anderson's house was dry, so she got busy doing laundry for others. The National Guard, God’s Pit Crew, Coal City Fire Department, Rock N Eats, Samaritan’s Purse, IHeart Church…these are just a few of the dozens and dozens of out-of-town organizations who’ve rolled into town and rolled up their sleeves.
BJ and I have this saying—when one of us starts to get a bad attitude, we’ll whisper to one another, “It’s showing on your face.” That’s our personal reminder that what’s on the inside is seeping out and in plain view. Well, Rainelle, I’m proud to tell you, “It’s showing on your face.” The resourcefulness, kindness, resilience, generosity, gratitude and compassion inside of you is seeping out, whether you realize it or not. Yes, indeed, it’s showing on your face, and I sure hope the world is watching.
BY MARYANNE TUCK GRIMMETT