The Little I can Do
As I travel the buses back and forth to work, I look out at the cloverleaf of freeways that come together. And I think back on the pictures of New Orleans I have seen -- with the freeways broken and covered in water. And I wonder to myself what I would do if I were stranded here in a natural disaster like that. I'd be up a creek without a paddle, that's what I'd be. I'm a strong swimmer -- but I DON'T like mess. (And the water in New Orleans is NOT safe to be walking around in, no matter what you see on TV! I am so worried- - which means I ought to be praying. About the epidemics that could be caused there.) And I'm no good at walking.
Nevertheless, it seems.. the little I can do to do my part. Instead of driving to a park and ride every morning, leaving my car there and taking a bus that takes me right to work, I'm going to walk down to a closer bus stop (but one that involves walking -farther- and mostly uphill, on the trip back) that doesn't involve running the car. It's not a lot. But it's the least I can do for the next couple of weeks while they try to work things out down in the southeastern states that were so recently crippled by Katrina.
There are still people stuck in New Orleans, people trying desperately to get out. I am very thankful it is not me and my family. And yet, in a way, it is my family -- at the very least Americans if not Christians as well down there. So I can't bring it in me to care. To get angry at local news that already YESTERDAY had gone on to day to day news. How can anyone care about politics as normal when we have people trapped in New Orleans! I wanted to scream but just turned the radio off, praying and turning to the Web instead.
A part of me does not want to see New Orleans rebuilt -- not so many feet underwater with government funds. But mostly, I just want to see the people saved. I want to see all the people who lost their homes and EVERYTHING there get back on their feet. When it is going to be months until the city recovers basic services -- what are others going to do? My dad travels this road a LOT. how will he get around? What's more -- not having the roads will keep tourists away and these are tourist towns... They need us to come. Prayer is going to be needed for a very long time. Surely, eventually, I can start to meld back seamlessly into my own life --> but not yet. I go to work, go through the motions (after all, I tell myself, life as normal must continue over here so that we can make money to afford to support the relief effort over there. If we stop everything here we don't help anything there, after all), but my heart is elsewhere right now. And it is going to remain there for a while.