Friday, January 06, 2006
One of the most gut-wrentching scenes I've ever witnessed was of the town of Pass Christian Mississippi 4 months after Katrina.
One our way to Texas last month, we stopped to visit with Chris's brother Jon, his wife, Becky and their two kids. They live in the town of Pass Christian and offered to take us to the downtown area and the beach to see some of the destruction. Here is our happy couple in front of what USED to be their local Wal-Mart store. If you look closely at the picture, you actually see THROUGH the store to the other side. No walls left, only steel beams.
This picture is only a small sliver of what you see for 60 miles down the coast. I saw pick-up trucks in trees, turned over trailers, house on top of house, the only thing left of the middle school was a foundation...and on and on. The pictures on the T.V. and on the web cannot capture the amount of destruction. I mean, where do you even begin? I only THOUGHT Jack and Gus's room was messy!
This place is what used to be Grandma Clemens assisted living home. One family member told us that she walked the grounds behind the home to see if she could find a shred of grandma's belongings, but there was nothing but debris, wheelchairs found a mile away, and more debris. Note the circular driveway which led to the front door of the facility.
Finally, this picture encaptulates the hope that lies within the people of Pass Christian and other towns affected by this storm. The owners of this destroyed home have set up a trailer in the place of their home and continue their pet business within the trailer. What you can't see in this picture is the devastation that surrounds this "home"..these people have cleaned up their little piece of land and are moving on with life. The most moving aspect of this though is the Christmas tree. Do you see that it is placed OUTSIDE their trailer? Amidst the devastation, Christmas comes, the tree stands and hope continues despite terrible odds and circumstances. This was a fairly common scene around Pass Christian.
WHERE does all that hope come from? The HOPE that beckons this family to PUT UP A TREE around all that devastation? I choked back tears when I realize that Jesus puts that hope in them..in all of us.. the desire to forge on with him carrying us...with our own personal Katrinas...through our sacrifices.. within the mundane routines...there is an ending to all of this and it ends WELL if you have FAITH. FAITH which instills HOPE for the future. HOPE which instills LOVE.
The people of Mississipi have that faith; they are a tough bunch; you see it in their faces. But mostly you see where it LIVES when you see a christmas tree in Pass Christian.