Hurricane Katrina hit the coast of Louisiana August 29, 2005. The whole nation watched as the levees broke, the waters rose and individuals fought to keep themselves and their loved ones alive. We watched in disbelief as time seemed to drag on while a city struggled and it appeared that relief was slow in coming. An often repeated phrase during that time was, “Is this America?” We are a country that is used to being on top of issues and ready to respond, even in natural disasters. The death toll reached 1,833.
Recently, I visited New Orleans. There is so much about this beautiful city to relish. Hopping into a cab from the airport we had a friendly driver who announced we were playing a TV game called, Cash Cab. I had never heard of the show but I have always loved game shows where I might win something! First question. What month, date, and year did Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans? Okay, we knew it was August as Labor Day was coming and the end of summer was approaching. Growing up in Florida, I was well aware of hurricane season. Nailing down the year was a little harder. We knew George W. was president but we fumbled around before hitting it. The exact day was even harder to remember. The cab driver’s next questions were about Hurricane Rita which hit New Orleans a few weeks later. The quiz show ended but our driver finished the 30 minute cab drive by pointing out bridges, buildings and highways that were washed away by the hurricane.
There are many aspects of New Orleans that our driver could have shared. A city with the backdrop of the grand Mississippi River takes pride in its wonderful cuisine, jazz music, friendly folks and their love of parties and carnivals. He shared this important event because it is at the forefront of this city’s mind. They had not forgotten the generous and giving people from all over this great country who came to help. We were reminded of the resilience of the people who live there. This is a strong city and is coming back greater than before. Life did not continue as usual, but this tragic event has pulled this city together.
To be honest, as time goes by it is easy for me to forget the details of events which did not effect me directly. We might remember where we were when it happened or how we felt when we saw it, but eventually the emotions subside and we move into our own worlds. All around us our neighbors deal with sickness, family issues, tragedies and death. We sit with them in the moment but eventually we go on with our lives. They continue to live with loss but we tend to distance ourselves. It is hard to stick close everyday and of course we have our own issues. It is easy to forget and not remember.
Resilience can come out of tragedy and New Orleans reflected this. Their determination and perseverance overflowed by not forgetting their past, but by being stronger by it. This was reflected in their music, food, buildings and joie de vivre.
I’m thankful that the Lord does not forget. He remembers and is present when we go through hard times. His eyes are never off of us and He is never taken by surprise. That is a comfort when it seems like we are alone and no one else remembers. I’m also thankful that he is the one who does the work in my life so I can persevere and count on him for the end product in my life. Any resilience I have is from knowing He’s present and does not forget.
“The GOD OF GRACE, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you STRONG, FIRM AND STEADFAST.”
1 Peter 5:10 (NIV)
God can take the hard things of life, restore us and make us strong. Tragedies can have an upside if we are patient and persevering. The people of New Orleans exemplified this to me.
2 thoughts on “Hurricaine Katrina”
What you have said about how we sometimes react to the difficulties others face is so true. Itnis so encouraging to know that God always stands by us. Great verse to remind us of His faithfulness. 🙌😊
Thanks for great comments Sharon.