Living the questions and trying to think theologically... and practically. Learning that these things are more synonymous than I once thought.

Location: Dallas, TX

Friday, September 02, 2005

Feelings in the Aftermath of Tragedy

For the first time since the death of my father, I've been so upset by the events of this week that at times I've wanted to rip my clothes or just stay in bed all day and cry. I don’t think I've ever felt anything like it before. My friends from the coast and their families are safe from all accounts, but I am still not sure about their homes.

Many of my friends are now known as refugees. That is the strangest feeling, and I feel helpless. I'm in Waco, TX trying to learn a dead language, Hebrew, and I'm not even sure if my friend Katherine's home is still standing. It makes me sick.

I loved the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the city of New Orleans. I had a certain Vertical HCDizon cd that I would listen to as I would alongside of the beach on highway 90. That drive will never be the same again, and part of me thinks that I won't be either.

As horrifying as the images of the past two days have been, there is some good news coming from that part of the world. First of all, the Brewers' home was practically unharmed and amazing so was their church which was very near the beach in Gulfport. They are like a second family to me, and this news brought about much joy. The second image is the help pouring into New Orleans. Yes, it was too slow in its coming, but the sight of it brings about some hope.

In Waco, the response has been overwhelming. The churches who are housing refugees are turning away donations and volunteers because they have already received so much. I’m trying to do what I can in University Ministries to find ways that Baylor students can help. Tonight, my friend Katie and I are going to clean out some government housing apartments that are going to accept refugees. None of our efforts feel like enough because this crisis is so much bigger than I can wrap my mind around.

Everyday of this week has had its own difficulties. On Sunday and Monday we were worried about what kind of damage this massive storm would do to our state and if our families would be safe. Tuesday and Wednesday morning we had not heard from the Brewers, and the pictures from the coast were almost unrecognizable. Yesterday, the sight and the sound of the people outside the convention center were some of the saddest and most miserable images I had ever seen. Today, there are still more tragic stories, but as I said there does seem to be glimpses of hope. Everyday, though all have been unique and sad and long, the sun comes up. People give and give to help strangers, anddoes note it doesn't make everything better, God is giving hope. He is our hope, and for that I am thankful.


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