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I had a different insert for Labor Day.

Then Hurricane Harvey came.

As I watched the reports, I gave thanks for the police, firefighters, doctors and nurses, and National Guardsmen who literally came to the rescue. I marveled at the civilians who did everything they could to help their neighbors – using boats, rafts, even paddle and boogie boards to get strangers to safety. Some sacrificed their own lives to save others.

You’ve probably heard of “Mattress Mack,” who opened several of his stores to offer shelter to storm victims and to give National Guardsmen a place to rest. He estimates his generosity is costing him $30,000 a day: "We can afford that and what we can't afford is to cause these people to lose hope, we got to give them hope."

The image here is from Faith Lutheran in Dickinson, Texas; their Jesus window reflecting in the water flooding their sanctuary. What is hard to see in this reproduction is the reflection of the volunteers “walking with Jesus” in the flooded church.

This is how we do God’s work. We become His hands in a time of crisis, reaching out in love and assistance to His children. On this Labor Day, let us give thanks for those who labor in His name, who will not rest this weekend as they care for those who have lost everything to this storm. May we all be inspired by their compassion, their selflessness, and their love for their fellow man.

If you’re looking for a way to help, Lutheran Disaster Response is already on site and 100% of your donation goes to relief efforts in Texas and Louisiana (elca.org). If you are a Thrivent member, Thrivent will match your donation to LDR (www.thrivent.com).

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
James 2:14-17