The floods that drenched Louisiana and Mississippi, an area better known to some uninformed weathercasters as the “land mass between Alabama and Texas,” have been described as horrific and of biblical proportions. Thousands of families have been displaced from thousands of wrecked and ruined homes all across the area. Many of the scenes that have come from the area have shown heroic rescues but in reality, the large percentage of heroics will never be seen nor fully expressed. Those acts took place in a moment of time to do what needed to be done in order to help in every possible way. Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief teams responded as soon as called upon and scores of church groups went in waves to help, care for, support, and comfort. In fact, Southern Baptists from states all across the nation have arrived and have sent help in a number of ways.
In the midst of the disaster, a video was made by a fellow who wanted to know where the Black Lives Matter groups were there to help. The Black Lives Matter movement has spawned numerous other groups that matter – Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, for example. In this flood crisis, I submit another: Wet Lives Matter. According to the man in the video, they had come earlier and he now wondered where those groups were when they were really needed. He was pointed and sometimes harsh in his assessment but on the positive side, you and I need to recognize it is a great time to put the spotlight on the Christian church teams that have been there day and night helping in the name of Christ, giving everything and asking nothing. In this disaster maybe it should be clearly understood that wet lives matter.
The reason I say that is because in the rescue efforts — the feeding, medical care, and whatever needs were there — there were and are no exclusions. There was no vetting of Baptists or Buddhists. There was no checking to see if people were Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian. It did not matter if they were poor or filthy rich. Floods and all the disaster they bring do not exclude anyone and when disaster workers respond, neither is anyone excluded.
The second thought that I would point out to you is that for Mississippi Baptists and indeed for Southern Baptists nationwide, there are no seclusions. Mississippi Baptists have training events all year long to help our people, churches, and associations prepare for whatever disaster may come. These are wonderful, Christ-focused, caring people who are willing to give their time and their work to help in the name of Jesus. The funds that help this training and help the necessary provisions to be ready to go are provided by your giving to the Margaret Lackey State Mission Offering.
Our state mission offering is, in virtually every way and every area, a hands-on experience of becoming the life, hands, feet, love, and heart of Jesus touching people whether on the mission field or in a boat helping a family to dry land. When you give to the Margaret Lackey State Mission Offering, you are giving to an ongoing, visible expression of the living, loving Lord Jesus Christ. Mississippi Baptists do not just sit and watch the hurts and the needs and shake our fists at the darkness of our world, but rather we prepare for and engage in the great needs of human suffering and search for life to bring the Good News of Jesus wherever we are needed. We will not hide in seclusion. We respond with great energy.
A last thought about wet lives matter is to just say there are no illusions. There are no illusions that this will be the last disaster that will ever happen, the last time we’ll ever be needed. No, no. It rains on the just and the unjust. Floods come. Tornadoes hit. Hurricanes are spawned. People have great tragedies. When those crises come, shocking as they may be, there will be wonderful saints of God who will have gone through training and prepared their hearts and minds with skills to respond to do what needs to be done, to wrap victims in love and provide for them in their greatest need of hurt because that is what Jesus would do. We have no illusions here in Mississippi that we will not see another hurricane or another tornado or have another flood.
There may be events of which we have not even dreamed that will take place, but when they do Christ’s people – you and me — will be on the front edge, not sitting in the stands watching but ready to respond with help. Thank you to all the responders who have done so much to make a difference in people’s lives, and all of you who have given so faithfully to enable those volunteers to respond. You have done it again, and may God bless you as you seem to be willing and ready to respond every time there is a need.
The author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.