Looking Back >Katrina Recoverers:  September 15th, 2005

Day 18

This morning I drove over to Hancock School District office to verify the start of school. All the Hancock schools north of I10 will be starting September 30th. The office did recommend that we drive the kids the first day, as the schools will still be figuring out the busing situation. I also stopped by Jonny’s after school daycare. Unfortunately, they will not reopen and their space is already leased to someone else. So we’ll have to look for after school care for him again.

As I drove through the Kiln (the town to the northwest of Diamondhead) I saw more hurricane damage. A mobile home that once sat in an open field looked like it had been rolled across the field and smashed to pieces in the woods across the road. A storage place had been flooded and people were starting to pull out their ruined items and piling them next to the road. Further down, a housing area on the bayou had flooded. The houses were built on ten foot pilings and still had five or more feet of flooding in the homes. Along side the road, I saw a boat and a car in the woods, where they had been washed up. There is still so much to clean up.

Our house is making progress. Jonny’s room and our room are ready for floating sheetrock. Saturday, I plan on going to Home Dept to start getting paint for repainting. I’ll also be dropping of Daniel’s trumpet to be cleaned and fixed. We found it in the flooded trunk of Heather’s car. A Navy working crew came to our house this afternoon and made some progress in getting a lot of the trees cut up. We had three trees in our yard blow over and one leaning precariously toward the house. Two other trees in the empty lot behind us decided to blow over into our yard as well. Privacy fences do not fare to well when huge trees fall on them.

Rocky decided to give us a heart attack. He told us he could take down the leaning tree and he did. He climbed up as high as he could (which was pretty darn high) and started cutting branches and topping the tree. He kept at it (while we watched and prayed really hard) until he had it short enough to cut down. I don’t know how he handled the chainsaw and ropes and still hold on to the tree himself. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera to get any pictures.

When I was driving back and forth in Diamondhead today, it occurred to me that I’m “getting used to” the destruction and mess. When the kids return, I’ll get a chance to see it afresh, through their eyes, as they see the devastation for the first time. It made me think again of the analogy of sin. Sometimes, we’re so “used to” our sin, we fail to see the horrible and sad mess it really is. Initially, we may be shocked by it and its affect on our lives, just like I was initially shocked by the hurricane destruction when we first returned to the coast. However, if we’re not careful, we can become numb to the sin and the destruction it causes in our lives. We’ve seen it so much it almost becomes normal. Just as I have seen the piles of debris and damaged homes so often in the past week, it seems like it’s always been that way. Not until someone new reopens our eyes to the heartbreak each pile and each damaged home represents, do I remember that Diamondhead is not supposed to look this way. In the same way, we daily need a fresh look at our sin through God’s word, so that we might see our sin for what it really is, not what we’ve learned to believe is acceptable. Once we see the sin as the destructive mess that it is, we can then begin allowing the Lord to clean it out of our lives, and restore us to the beauty He intended.

May God touch your hearts in a mighty way today.

Grace & Peace


About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: tabletsofhumanhearts.wordpress.com I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, a son-in-love, a daughter-in-love and two adorable granddaughters. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in New Braunfels, located at the Texas Hill Country.
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