Addicted to Ink

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hope among utter devastation

Twenty-five billion dollars of damage -- just the day after.

Black or red paint on houses that service workers have to come back to because there's nothing that can be done yet with the bodies inside.

So much looting and insanity that journalists are no longer even allowed in the city because their lives are in danger - from desperate survivors.

Thirty thousand people sheltered in a sports complex, with nowhere else to go and no way to get anywhere else. No no running water. No air conditioning. No electricity. Only enough food and water - by the ten thousand who brought it - for three days.

A woman who finally realized her dream of owning a bed and breakfast not too long ago, in a nearly century-old home. It had survived Camille. It had survived Betsy. So the woman was certain it would survive Katrina. So she, her dog, and six of her friends decided to stay. But she was wrong. Her house crumbled before her very eyes. Katrina's winds picked up all seven of the people and flung them into the trees surrounding the house. For hours, the B&B owner - with her little Scottish Terrier - and her friends clung to the branches. At some point, four of the people -- including an 80-year-old woman - finally fell from the branches and were swept away (but later rescued!) The three were devastated, but continued clinging to those precious tree branches. Finally, the wind stopped. They were alive! And interviewed by CNN.
"What were you thinking while you were on those branches?" Anderson-the-CNN-reporter asked her.
"I was praying the whole time," she said with tears in her eyes. "I was promising..." she couldn't finish. "My brother... he's a priest... he's going to be so happy!"

Another 80-year-old woman who had been dropped off at the Superdome. It described her as having nothing more than the clothes on her back, her purse, and her left shoe.

And all night on CNN, they've shown the clip of the distraught, crying reporter talking to the man who had lost his wife.

More than twelve thousand rescues by brave coast guard members.

Police officers who, though they've lost everything, too, and have gone without food or sleep, are honoring their promise to serve and protect.

So many people. So much loss. So few ways to help. But there ARE two ways to help: sending prayers (tomorrow's a national day for prayer) and sending money.

And something to remember...

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling.
There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come, behold the works of the LORD,
Who has made desolations in the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge.


Blogger dawn said...

Wow... I still can't begin to fathom the extent of the damage, even after watching as much news coverage as I can. After seeing the devastation, and watching the rescues, I can't help but be amazed at the human spirit. People have such compassion, even when they have lost everything. It makes me feel so very blessed, and that my problems are inconsequential.

I love the verse, by the way. Very appropriate.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Thanks for the post- that was exactly what we all needed right now.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Amber, you are the best empathetic writer I know. You have such a way with words during times of great sorrow. And you are amazingly good at matching Bible verses with a situation. I admire that.

And I share your empathy. I heard on the news last night about the lone open hospital in New Orleans. It's in shutdown mode so that no working personnel can leave once they come in. Doctors have gone without food and sleep and have no idea about their families or their homes. And most of them aren't worried about it. They're worried about the patients. I don't know that I could sacrifice so much. God bless them.

9:37 AM  

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