Thursday 24 November 2005, 3:30 pm
Imagine that your house has been damaged and that you need to work on it
to fix it. Now imagine that you have no place to live while working on
your house, or that you have only a trailer for a family of five. Imagine
that you've had no running water for a couple of months while trying to
repair your house. Imagine that you have to tear out the sheetrock from
the inside of your house, but when your house was damaged, all your
power tools were lost or damaged, including a nice saw and a drill, but
you are left only with a small hammer and a crowbar.
Now imagine that the tools and supplies you need are double the price
they were a few weeks ago, unless you are able to go to a neighboring
state like Alabama where prices are normal. Imagine that you have no job
and you have to spend an hour in line at the food bank only to find out
that the specific item you need is in short supply and ran out earlier
in the day. Imagine that all your mementoes like photographs have been
destroyed. Imagine that you get up every morning and try to find the
energy to clean it up a little more. Imagine depression like you've
never experienced in your life.
Give up yet? Well, that is the life these people have been living for
the last 12 weeks. Any kind of electical equipment like stoves, washing
machines, power tools, and computers is inoperable. The salt water
left most vehicles still running but not for very long. Wet homes
have to have drywall removed up to the water line, then the entire
interior washed and treated to destroy and prevent mold. Sheetrock
must be replaced, then floors, then carpet, then appliances.
I talked to lots of people on Monday and Wednesday. Their stories are
sad but their will is strong. Many know Jesus and know they will find
their way out of this mess. Some see the entire flood and "mucking"
phenomenon as a grand metaphor for the way God cleans up our lives.
We're tired today ... I'll stop now and let you contemplate the things
you are thankful for. If nothing else, be thankful you're not here.