WITH the Easter weekend behind us (yeah I know, how did that happen?), it signals a number of changes.
For our flood-ravaged city it was a long weekend that allowed many to get to the last of those clean-up jobs, scrub away some more mud and hope that it really was a once-in-a-lifetime event. For others, it was the last family holiday that didn't involve warm clothing, as many rushed to holiday parks and seaside shacks for a little rest and relaxation. For the school kids, it was one term down, three to go.
With Christians remembering Jesus' sacrifice in many different ways last weekend, it also feels timely to speak of the contribution from our local churches. No matter where I went across the city during the flood, there was food, comfort and endless help being provided by local church members and many from across Australia, who wanted to be a part of our healing. This weekend we will even see 600+ members of the Iglesia ni Christo church busing in from around the country as their Aid to Humanity project comes to Lismore.
These churches, along with the many local charities, volunteer organisations and individual volunteers tasked by the hub in South Lismore, have literally lifted us up out of the mud. So many friends and neighbours have lent a hand that no one should feel a stranger. No one should be alone as we pull together through this recovery.
Our community response to this destructive flood has been so overwhelming that the politicians who visited, have no doubt that what we have done here as a community will be studied and used when disaster strikes elsewhere. This flood will not be remembered for what happened when the destructive water rose, but by the heart that beat fiercely as the water receded.