After the Storm

Our city survived a hurricane last week. For us here at the parsonage, we went without power for about five days. The church lost a tree and quite a few ceiling tiles, but altogether, besides my nerves from being stuck in this house with my kids and five dogs without electricity, not much was damaged. Across our state however, its a different story. Even on the other side of my city there are people who lost everything. There are families sorting through their belongings looking for items they can salvage and finding that there are some things that insurance can't replace. Same storm, different stories. I was at my wit’s end with the storm raging around me, the oppressive heat, the stink from my wet carpet, but I never once feared for my life. However, there were those right here in my own city that had to be evacuated, had to relocate in order to survive.

I was lying in bed here one morning, thinking about how to find a route to visit my mom, and what downed trees I might encounter, when it struck me how very similar this real life situation is to what I've been going through the past 6 months or so. Except this time my family is the one across town sorting through the wreckage, looking for hope in the midst of utter destruction. There are others who were discomfitted by the storm that hit our lives, but life is back to normal for them. The trees have been removed, internet connectivity has been restored, and they are back to business as usual. But not us, there's a big glaring hole in the roof of our life, and no tarp is going to fix it.

Its going to be ok. We're going to be ok. But we are not going to be the same. How dare we be the same, really? To have lost all these loved ones and go back to normal life would be a disservice to their memory, but at the very least it is impossible to live the same without them. The second hardest thing to handle after these enormous losses is the misunderstanding of people who just don't get it that we're not "back" yet. As if we went on a trip and we're coming back with some great memories and some cheap souvenirs. If I was recovering from sickness you would allow me time, if I had been in an accident or had surgery you would allow me to get better. This is no different. The clean up project is a little bigger than we expected over here in our neck of the woods. We might just need a bit more time.

2 Corinthians 1:8-11 We don’t want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation—I don’t want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God’s deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part.


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