The following account is from one of my more recent blogging buddies, Dee O'Neil Andrews, who lives in the New Orleans area. She left the Louisiana before Katrina hit and is now staying in Abilene, TX. Her husband Tom is still is Louisiana though.
Personal Reflections - D-Day +4
As I predicted late Tuesday night in Dallas, upon learning for the first time since the hurricane of all that had transpired since Sunday night, the situations in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast were "very grave" and would get worse.
For a vast number of Americans reaching into the 100s of thousands over 90,000 square miles, people (!!), and including at least one third of the entire state of Mississippi and the largest city in Louisiana, including me and all those I love, life as we've known it has effectively ended, never to be the same again.
The world for me has stopped completely, grinding to a halt, coming to a dead standstill.
Every waking moment since Saturday, seven days ago, and believe me, most of the hours of the day and night I am awake, have been spent in churning over and over in my mind thoughts of all those I love and all of the events unfolding in absolute horror before my eyes. From early morning until late at night I go from MSNBC to CNN to the Weather Channel to Fox News seeking pictures and information from the devastated areas.
I am worn out, yet cannot sleep. I lie in bed and miss Tom there beside me so terribly much that it is a physical, mental and emotional pain that cannot be soothed by narcotics or drugs.
I do not know when I will ever in this world even speak to him next, much less see and be with him, again. I am 750 miles away from our home, he is 20 miles away from our home. However long apart we are is too long. Saturday night when we went to bed we both knew we would be parted by morning. Neither one of us slept, but all night long we clung to each other and I prayed to God all night for the night to not end.
Many, many people are now blaming God. For me, it is my dear loving Father, God, who sustains me and all of those I love so dearly and well through all that has already passed and is to come. I do not believe God caused these terrible things. This is the nature of the world we live in that God created and set in motion. It operates in an orderly fashion with the seas and winds and waves following their natural courses.
It was we, as people, who choose to live in places where that nature could become our enemy in ways we knew could happen, we knew could - would - happen, and yet we choose to live there, anyway. For vast numbers of others living further inland, nature dealt them a heavy blow, too, through no fault or blame of their own. It is the nature of this world.
Those of you who have been reading my blog for any length of time know that I have written extensively concerning my personal physical trials and tribulations of the past two years and of that being but a microcosm of the events which will occur to all of us in this life. (See, in particular, "What is Our Share, Anyway?". I posted that less than three weeks ago).
Now, such things have come to pass.
I do not believe this is a "sign" of the end times. I do not believe this is part of an ultimate apocalypse. I do think that we had warning. Many went on their way and did not heed.
In Matthew 24:36 to the end of the chapter, Jesus gave warning of the end of the world and his return. I do not believe that all he said there has come to pass or is imminent, but it is certain. And what he said there seems very prophetic of these days we are in this week.
Read: 36 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
42 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. "
It is only in our Lord and Savior that we have hope. It is only in God we can trust. He will bring good from these tragic days and events.
While the actions of many people across Mississippi and Louisiana have been and continue to be shocking in their lawlessness and viciousness toward all around them, many, many more good, kindhearted Christians have already rallyed together to bring hope and help to all of those they can reach.
May God bless America and grant everyone a spirit of love and compassion. May He bless all of those who are suffering and homeless and without shelter or food or water - who are barely surviving. May He grant peace to all who are lost and separated from their families and friends.
For myself, the days are hard and the time is long. Endless. I am more sad and distressed than I ever thought or imagined I could ever be or endure. Yet I am enduring. I do have hope. I have deeper faith than ever in my Father who has not removed His presence from me.
I even feel I have all of you who read this in some special sense that comforts me.If you are reading this, please leave a comment to let me know you are there, not only for myself but for all of those I can reach back near home. Most of all, please pray and reach out in any way you can to offer help and hope and support. You will be blessed in doing so.