While my brother and his family are safe in Texas, it appears that all of their possessions and their home in New Orleans will be under water soon. What I am hearing now is that about half of ‘well-contructed homes’ will be destroyed and the city will not be habitable for weeks. One million may be left homeless.
(1) Would we be right to see God’s hand in this destruction? I’ve spent some time in New Orleans recently, and it is full of the evil that conservatives love to hate (alcohol, ‘partying,’ immorality, drive-thru margarita bars) as well as the kind liberals love to hate (gross economic inequality and racism; to my knowledge, New Orleans is the only place in the US where private school is the norm even for the lower middle class because the schools are so poor.).
(2) I’m imagining my home under 20 feet of water. Am I too attached to my possessions? Am I complacent in the security of our home?
(3) This morning, I was explaining the hurricane to my kids, in the vaguely excited way only a homeschooler can. My four-year-old stopped me right in the middle of my comparison between New Orleans and Holland and insisted we pray that the levees won’t break. I was humbled; I felt faithless.
(4) I lived in Houston during hurricane Alicia in 1983. It is one of the most vivid memories of my childhood. A 30 foot section of a tree in our yard snapped off, cleared the fence, and destroyed a neighbor’s greenhouse. At the same time, a cup that my mother had left in the yard was standing, half-full of water. We didn’t have power for about a week, and our street was flooded. (I also remember, as one of my earliest memories, the New England blizzard in 1978. My Dad was off work for a few days, and he pulled me around on a sled.)
(5) There’s something surreal about watching for and anticipating a natural disaster.
(6) Please pray for those who are in harm’s way.