little bit of lagniappe

reflecting on everyday grace

Katrina on my mind…

Oh, friends…this has been a big week…in so many ways.

It’s certainly been a big week in our weather-watching world, which always amazes me because it’s one of those ultimate, humbling ironies.  In the midst of our increasingly powerful technology and radar detection, we still are NOT in control.  We must sit, hang tough, cling to and call our loved ones, and we must pray.

Last weekend, Irene wreaked havoc on the eastern seaboard, and our eyes now move Gulf-ward to where Tropical Storms Lee and Katia (whose name is already eerily sinister) gain blistering fury, threatening to unload  torrential rains wherever they so please.

This past Monday, August 29th also reminded us of Hurricane Katrina’s destructive path some six years ago.  A colleague and good buddy of mine pointed me to a recent post on the “the3six5” blog, written by Katrina survivor Tom Martin, who is still in New Orleans today.  He muses about Katrina’s anniversary on August 29th (please scroll down once you get to the site) and  echoes the sense of survival — that hopeful “keep on, keepin’ on” — that defines our lives.

Our lives are fragile gifts from God.

May we live each day we’re given to the fullest.

In a broken world of seemingly daily catastrophes and tragedies, I will continue to have faith that hope leads our way and love overcomes all.

“…weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” – Psalm 30:5


August 29th: Katrina Prayer

Thank you for letting me understand homelessness, living without power, without television, without cool air in the heat;

Thank you for letting me understand hunger, the leisure of dry clean clothes and the relief of a place to sleep.

Thank you for letting me understand the deep and overwhelming sadness when forces, beyond our personal control, take the loved, the familiar, the usual.

Thank you for my needfulness and for my newfound empathy for those homeless before the storm and homeless now and for those hungry anywhere, for those in need everywhere.

Thank you for the opportunity you provided to help my neighbor, to be my brother’s keeper, to serve food, to patch roofs, to clean yards, and to start mending that which was broken.

Thank you for the chance to change ourselves, for a reprieve from the normal, commercial day, for teaching us to make do, to get by, to improvise, for drowning our conceit, complacency, callousness,

for silencing the noise,

for stopping the clock,

and for the chance to act our best when the worst occurred.

Thank you for the people who reached in, pulled out the living, cradled the dead, comforted the broken and torn apart, wept for the splintered and uprooted.

Thank you for the people who didn’t wait to come right away, who opened their homes, who emptied their shelves, their closets, who cleaned, fed, healed, held us, who told us our spirit was amazing, and who keep on coming.

Thank you for the people who measure their faith by their actions, and measure their actions by its consistency with their faith.

Thank you for all the people we have met, who are new friends, new Loved ones, new brothers and sisters, new neighbors.

Thank you, KATRINA.

Not for the wind,

not for the water,

but for the appreciation of the things no storm can shatter,

no water can wash away,

no wind can move.

 By Tom Teel and Reilly Morse — attorneys in Gulfport, MS.


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One thought on “Katrina on my mind…

  1. what a great post, Cartina! I love that prayer. Thank you for helping me reflect.

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