Chasing Contentment

Friday, September 2

This has been a remarkably difficult week for us, and we haven't been directly affected by Katrina. I literally cannot imagine what life is like for those people still in New Orleans.

I'm feeling a little scattered today. Please forgive me if my writing reflects that.

First, my grandmother is having tests on her heart today. I lived 33 years with four grandparents and lost two in the last 18 months. I'd like for this to turn out to be no big deal, so we can keep this lovely lady with us for a lot longer. My friend, LeeAnn, is dealing with a very sick little infant girl who is having tests herself today and next week. My heart and prayers are with all of these dear folks.

We have friends who live in New Orleans and have no idea if they still have homes. We have other friends who have already been told that they've lost the entire top floor of their townhouse. No one is sure yet about their jobs or how they will manage financially from here.

These are people we know personally. There are stories everywhere. We all know someone who knows someone or who has someone living with them or who is search for someone. It is the stories of the children - dying, without parents, lost - that break my heart. I was sobbing in front of the television last night when Mike finally said, 'enough... turn it off.'

There are members of both the local and national political arena with whom I do not agree. I also know that there have been things done wrong, both in the anticipation of this storm and in the following days. But I think that now isn't the time to focus on those things. Now is the time to focus on these people who are in such despair.

My dad said yesterday that this brings out the worst in people (speaking of the dangerous sitation in New Orleans), and while I certainly agree with that, I pointed out that we're also witnessing remarkable acts of generosity and kindness. For me, I have to try to focus on that.

But what I focus on in the daylight and what my mind drifts to as I lie awake in bed each night are different things sometimes. A friend and I were just talking about how we can't sleep and if we do, we're having nightmares. And nothing bad happened to us. How must these displaced, discouraged people be feeling?

I've said it before, but it bears repeating now. I am blessed to live in a predominantly Christian area. Editorials in local papers advocate prayer. Our governor called for a Day of Prayer. Bus drivers taking evacuees to new locations talk with them about faith, about God. These are reassuring things that might now have happened in other areas. And for that, we are thankful.

People have asked how they can help (especially if, like us, they cannot afford to give much money), and I am working on a post of suggestions. Hopefully, I'll get that done today or tomorrow.

To those praying for us and for those we know and for those we don't know who were affected by this, thank you. (I know that the people in Mississippi are struggling, too, so please forgive me for not talking about them. We're just so close to New Orleans that this is the more personal aspect of this situation for me.)

[  posted by Chel on Friday, September 02, 2005  ]


I've been sobbing in front of the TV, too. And I've had to turn it off. Seeing the children and elderly citizens dying from dehydration is just too much. In the midst of all the despair, thanks for sharing a little bit of hope in this post.

By Blogger Jana, at 5:54 AM  

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