Thankful for rain and those who serve

Jimmy Cochran


We just celebrated a season of Thanksgiving where we paused to give thanks for the many blessings we have. I have so many things to be thankful for, but thought I would just bring a few things to mind for which I am grateful.

It has rained this week. And, it continues to rain. At first thought, I realize how much good it is doing for my poor thirsty yard where the shrubs and trees and fall flowers are desperate for water. It is easy to see them clapping their little leaves and fronds with joy. This whole region of the country has been dry and dying for a couple of months and it is finally over ... and I am grateful.

Then, in a moment of clarity, I realized how selfish I was being for being grateful just for the rain and my yard. Not so very far from here in North Georgia and Tennessee, people have lost their homes, their lives, their businesses, and all they have in this world. They are having to sleep in shelters with hundreds of others with no hope of a home and their own bed to return to in a few days. Despite the tremendous compassion poured out by the Red Cross, Salvation Army, other agencies, and communities with food, clothing, and other necessities of life, they still must wake up with the realization that they are going to have to start all over. From scratch. And their lives will never again be quite the same.

Over these weeks of fire and devastation, so many firefighters, police, and other public safety personnel from all over the country put their lives on the line for our neighbors. And in time of disaster, they see everyone as their neighbor. As we should. They were gone from home and family for so long with little, if no, sleep and I never heard of one person complaining. They were simply doing their jobs and doing what they did. Help, protect, and serve.

And now the rains have come and God’s nature has helped to contain and save what is left. I’m thankful for that.

Locally, I’m thankful for our public safety officials here in McDonough and Henry County for always being ready to put their lives in danger for me, my family, and my neighbors. At the recent Christmas parades and festivals throughout our county, the visibility of our law enforcers, fire fighters, and our (much) underappreciated various Public Works staffs were seen working days and nights to prepare our cities and then to clean up afterwards. They kept traffic moving to the best of their abilities, they made sure our children were safe, they helped us to find trash cans and made sure they were emptied and the streets cleaned so that by the next morning, all signs of debris were gone. Thank you, all of you, for taking such good care of our citizens.

I am also thankful for all those behind the scenes in our County and cities that keep things running with little visibility. Thank you to those who keep my water running and dig ditches in the rain to find the problem if my water stops. Thank you to those who work in the offices to make sure the paperwork is done to keep our municipalities running smoothly. Thank you to those who work in the public eye and face the public’s anger when an answer isn’t what they wanted to hear, but also hear the thanks when they have helped someone solve their problems.

Folks, we have a good County, cities, and communities. I am grateful for those who work on our behalf and I urge you to be grateful and let them know so. This is the season to give and I hope we can let our thanks be known.

And for today, with a grateful heart, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.

Jimmy Cochran is a resident of McDonough, a musician, a minister and the author of Being God’s and Staying God’s, both available at Being God’s is also available at Moye’s Pharmacy in McDonough.