A Helping Hand

I have been wanting to write this blog for several days now.

What should I write about? I have thought to myself so many times.

I am living in the middle of a national crisis, I have to write something impacting, amazing, encouraging, life-changing, and wise … my thoughts continued, heaping adjective after adjective onto onto my plate. 

The world is counting on me to give it lenses to our crisis in Nashville and surrounding areas through my writing!!!!!!

(My years as a newspaper reporter has only heightened my ego. I may need to realize I’m not still a trusted news source.)

The story is still unraveling and there are so much to tell and so much to come. A WordPress blog that’s updated three or four times a week may not be able to rival The Tennessean or CNN in coverage, so I won’t even try. But I will tell you what I have experienced, because no other news source can tell that – amazement.

My wife and I drove down to Riverside Drive last night, where there used to be a street and now there lies the Cumberland River. It was the first time I got the opportunity to see anything, since I live two miles down the road and drive 30 minutes the opposite direction to work each day.

Monday was both amazing and excruciating. I work at a cubicle in a bank in a city 30 minutes away, so I’m close enough to hear about it all day long, but I’m far enough away that I felt like This was the first day after an extremely wet weekend, but I didn’t see this coming at all. A friend from nearby Hopkinsville called during the rain on Saturday, and I assured him we were fine. “Hopkinsville floods all the time, but Clarksville’s fine, it never really floods.” He then spookily said, “Yea, I just worry about you guys and the river,” to which I ignorantly replied “No, that will never flood, don’t worry we are fine.”

But the news reports just kept on coming in, grander and grander, and I felt as if I was on a different continent. I was in a cubicle of all places, working vigorously to ensure people are receiving their paychecks, the same thing I’d do any workday. This was so tough, especially with my wife right in the middle of the flooding in her radio job, and it was still in my blood after being the crime reporter a few years ago for Clarksville’s Leaf-Chronicle, a direct link to the center of situations like this one. As if cubicles didn’t seem mundane and lifeless before, this suddenly seemed like a blunt stapler blow to the face.

Please, pray for our area. Nashville is, of course, getting much of the news, especially since all the historic landmarks that millions of people have been to are being destroyed, that certainly draws a lot of attention. But right here in Clarksville, an Army town of about 250,000, we are in grave danger, too. Thousands of people are now without their homes, one person has died, and the Cumberland River has completely overtaken the riverfront. Riverside Drive, an oh-so-recently thriving commercial region, is now home to all walks of businesses and churches that are underwater. This suddenly leaves thousands of people without jobs, an absence most of them are unable to afford.

My family lives on top of a hill, and a good distance higher than the river. I do believe that nothing is impossible, but it’s only a little short of impossible that we will see any flooding at  our home any time soon. Therefore, I assure you that  Tasha, Pongo, myself and our home are reasonably safe at this point.

Still, I have been so much on the outside that it’s painful. Last night Tasha and I went to a shelter set up by the Red Cross to help people who have lost their home due to the flood, but  red tape kept Tasha from being able to help since she hadn’t taken a training orientation. This world is backwards in that you have to be qualified to help out in a crisis. We bought a couple bags of groceries for the shelter, but then I had to leave to sit on the sidelines. I really hope to be able to help this weekend, though.

I have also asked Tasha to share in an entry what she has experienced within her job. I promise that she has seen some amazing things.

Regardless, God is going to work miracles in all this. He worked miracles back in 1999 when Clarksville’s downtown was destroyed by a tornado, only for them to rebuild and come out better than they were before it hit, and I am certain God’s going to shine on this city again before too long at all. Prayers are very much needed, as are helping hands. Please pray for me, too, as though my hands may be helping by typing this news on this keyboard and asking for help, there is so much more work to be done, and I just feel a burning desire deep down to get my hands dirty in helping.


4 responses to “A Helping Hand

  1. It does seem surrealistic I’m sure, one of those,

    “It can’t happen here” Moments.

    Your right about God being able to use all of this in some way. Maybe it’s during events like this that ordinary people get to see other ordinary people do some God inspired extraordinary things!

    Prayer are going up, blessings will come down!

    Praise and Bless God!

    • Amen! Prayers are very much needed, and yes, very surreal, still is, too, as the flood waters have fallen and a very spooky Riverside Drive is left. Thank you for your readership!

  2. Matt, glad to hear you and yours are alright.

    I am typing this to you as I sit in a coffee shop in downtown Nashville. Everything seems to be business as usual, all things considered. The people of Nashville and its surrounding areas have proven to be strong and selfless through this whole ordeal. I think this guy said it best:


    Thanks for doing this blog. I do enjoy it.

    • Matt! Great to hear you are doing well, too. Thanks for the compliment, and I’m about to check this blog out. You, your lady, myself and mine should get together very soon. Perhaps another meeting in Nashville??

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