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Top : In The News : Walking Through Katrina, Pt 3

Walking Through Katrina, Pt 3

~ Lissa M. Lee

In that moment, came a powerful Voice inside my heart.

"Why do you long to communicate on a cell phone, or listen to a radio or television? Don't you know you can communicate with the very God Who put everything into existence right now, without any devices?"

How humbling. I repented immediately. Unconsciously, we have become addicted to instantaneous communication with practically anyone in the world at any time. Now, phoneless, I realized once again the majesty of prayer and the infinite care of the Father.

Quietly I began to just praise and worship the God of the Universe. Again I felt compelled to pray for those in the Superdome. Little did I know that people were literally racing from rooftop to rooftop to escape the rising waters from the broken levee system. Others were climbing higher and higher into their homes, until they found themselves trapped in the attic, beating, hammering and clawing to break through their roof into freedom.

When my son and daughter-in-law returned, she was visibly shaken. She had been weeping. They couldn't begin to explain the destruction they had just viewed. They had been able to reach their dearest friends by weaving around downed trees and down power lines cluttering the roads. The house they had originally wanted to buy was sliced in thirds by trees. My daughter-in-law told me she hadn't wanted to move to this subdivision, it was too far out, but now she understood even more clearly to trust the direction of God in your life. He knows the future - you don't.

It was then that I began to realize how bad the storm had been. I had been an infant when Audrey ripped through southwest Louisiana. I had heard the old timers talk about the lives instantly lost when that storm totally flooded an island off the coast of Lake Charles. I had been a kid when Betsy swept through Louisiana. I remember the images in the newspaper and television. I had been in high school when Camille bombarded the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I remember the stories of needless deaths. I remember the clean up. Little did I know that those memories were to pale in comparison to the ones being written in the coming days.

That day we busied ourselves with miscellaneous activities. My son and his bride settled in on the front porch with board games. I found a book to read and my daughter fidgeted back and forth between. You can't imagine the joy and pride I felt as I watched my son and his wife entertain themselves with the pleasure of each other's company. My own marriage had been a problem from the start and only lasted eight years. Here my son and his wife were enjoying each other and the precious uninterrupted time together as if they were on vacation, not in the middle of the greatest national disaster this country has ever known.

At some point in the day, my younger son and his girlfriend appeared. Relieved to know he was fine, I focused my prayers on my parents and my brother.

When nightfall settled in on us, the breezes from Katrina were gone. A stifling humidity wrapped in August heat bore down on us. It was too hot to sleep inside. I suggested we move all the mattresses to the back porch and camp out. My daughter-in-law suggested we take all the sheers off the windows, staple them to the eave to provide improvised mosquito netting.

Viola! Cooler sleeping conditions!

While arranging the sheers, my son happened to look up at the sky. Calling all of us to the back yard, we looked up and beheld the most beautiful night sky I've seen in a very long time. It was cloudless and every star seemed to compete to outshine each other. What a paradox! This very sky had been filled with death only 24 hours earlier. Now it was filled with glittering diamonds of peace.

Once again I found myself humbled by the inconceivable grandeur of God's unlimited creation. Once again I found myself so grateful for the mercy given to my family. I had no idea what lay ahead for us, whether I had a home or job to return to. But I knew; I would be thankful. I would be thankful for the unmerited favor of God on my family. We had come through the storm, untouched. We had only been inconvenienced. The initial reports trickling by word of mouth were beginning to let us know just how bad things were.

Although cool on our elaborate outdoor bedroom, my sleep was haunted by what the future held. If it had been this bad here, what must my home be like? The word, "remember Lot's wife" kept rising up in my heart.

Keeping track of time became the first real noticeable disorientation of the storm. No one could remember what day it was. We all had to think, it's Wednesday, August 31st.

My son loaded us up in his truck and we drove to his place of employment. He manages a restaurant. The power failure meant the food would be spoiling. Meeting his boss there, they began to take inventory of their losses. Miraculously, their landline phone was working. My daughter-in-law was able to call her family and let them know we were safe.

Her father had booked a flight to St. Louis. There he was to meet his other daughter and together they were going to drive down with a generator, chainsaws and other provisions. My son's mother-in-law's co-workers had taken up a collection and brought food to send with them.

Again, the favor of God was washing over our lives.

But why us? Why had we been so graciously spared?

All the reports we were hearing were weeks and months before utility services would be provided. Yet, that afternoon as my son emptied the spoiled food from the company's coolers, the power came on! We had lights - no water - but the air conditioner was working just fine!

A nursing home, behind my son's restaurant came looking for water, food - anything. My son's boss generously gave whatever he found, that he felt safe giving them. Knowing people would be hungry, tired and needing reassurance, my son's boss began trying to contact the food company to place an order.

That night we piled up on the floor of the restaurant to sleep in the cooling comfort of air conditioning. Again, the favor of God overwhelmed me. Outside the restaurant, the shopping center parking lot began to fill with service trucks from all over the country.

We were also able to watch television that night with an antenna my son rigged up. It was our first time to view the aftermath and see what horrors were unfolding. As we watched, the landline phone began to operate. My daughter-in-law was able to call her parents and assure them of our safety.

So many people have asked, "Why do you live in such a dangerous place?"

All I can say, "This is where God has placed me."

Part 4

Submitted on : 20-Sep-2005

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Top : In The News : Walking Through Katrina, Pt 3

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