It’s hard to believe that it has been a month since we were packing up and fleeing Katrina. We’re all so tired and there seems to be no end in sight.
Even those whose homes haven’t been impacted by the storm are still affected. Many have opened their homes to friends and family who no longer have a livable home. We are very grateful for Bob and Staci who have graciously opened their home to us. But we know that it grows wearisome to have continual house guests. Many people are volunteering or working at shelters, distribution centers and emergency medical clinics. The needs are still so great and even as we begin the fifth week after the storm, we still need help. Traffic is difficult. Scores of contractors, clean up crews, military and volunteers from out of town clog the once peaceful streets of communities (those that are still standing). Lights are still down or inoperable, creating stop and go traffic. Many normal commuting routes are unusable (bridges out), inaccessible (blocked because of devastated communities) or impassible (piles of debris and trees spilling out into the roads). This makes normally “quick” trips turn into long journeys.
Phones are still down in many areas, cable has yet to be restored, schools are still delayed for many communities, and grocery stores are crowded because so many stores were damaged or destroyed. Just the day to day errands are difficult. And the normal things that usually occur during this time of year (Homecoming games, soccer teams, scouting) are not even thought of by anyone.
Decisions are difficult, also. Our brains are tired, we find it hard to concentrate and we become very absent minded.
What would I desire, if asked. For someone to pray with. I think a spiritual refreshing is so needed for our weary souls. A group of folks from around the state were in Diamondhead yesterday, providing free hamburgers and drinks. What an example of Jesus, providing food for the hungry. As I took the food, I thought how wonderful it would be if the woman handing it to me would have said, “How are you? Would you like me to pray with you?” I probably would have cried, but I definitely would have said yes. There is such healing power in prayer, yet so often we feel like we are invading someone’s privacy or that faith should be a “private matter”. I guess there are people who would feel offended or uncomfortable having a stranger asking if she could pray with them. But I think equally there are many who would give a thankful yes. The thought challenges me also, as I drive down my street and see weary neighbors cleaning the messes Katrina left in their homes. Do I have the courage to stop and ask if they would like someone to pray with, if only for a few moments?
In His strength
Grace & Peace