Lend them your ear

By Ruth Limkin

I was at one of the flood evacuation centres Thursday, providing chaplaincy support to victims. It was, in words used this week, both heartwarming and heartbreaking.

It was heartwarming to see the way the community was rallying. Truly, the best in people can often shine through in the worst of times.

Yet it was heartbreaking to hear people’s stories, and everyone had one.

One young couple I met got married last Saturday. They live in Raceview, Ipswich, so can’t get back home. They’ve been spending their honeymoon in the evacuation centre. We were able to offer them a room if roads don’t open up soon.

One father at the centre was telling me about his seven year old son, who has so far refused to eat because of the shock. As we were standing over to the side of performance being put on for the children, the father leaned over to me and pointed out his son. With relief he whispered, “Look, he’s smiling. It’s so good for me to see him smiling”. Never have I felt quite so thankful for a children’s entertainer as I did in that moment.

One lady got out of hospital two days ago, but comes from Toowoomba. Again, she can’t get home. She also told me of her family in Toowoomba, and their stories. Her young nephew’s best friend lost his mother and brother. In a story behind the story, sadly this boy hardly knows his father as they have had little contact for most of his young life. They both need our prayers.

Every person has a story, and every person needs someone to tell it to. Even if you don’t know what to say, sometimes listening speaks volumes.