Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know south Louisiana has been hit hard by flooding in recent weeks. (Or maybe you don’t, given the lack of significant national media coverage.) The amount of rain that fell on parts of the greater Baton Rouge area in just a matter of days was more rain than Los Angeles has gotten in the last four YEARS. Let that roll around in your brain for a minute. Twenty, twenty-five, thirty inches or more of rain, in a matter of hours, days. It’s done incredible amounts of damage, and I have friends and family who had to be rescued from their homes, and in some cases, who lost everything. You see the devastation and it’s like you’re looking at a movie. This can’t be real. But it is.
Song: “Louisiana 1927” by Randy Newman
When something like this happens, you hear people say about the wreckage, with the best of intentions, “It’s just stuff.” And to some extent, perhaps that’s true. Furniture, curtains, cabinets, dishes, all that can be replaced. It’s the sentimental things that are harder to toss on the junk pile as “just stuff”. Wedding photos. The little outfit your baby wore home from the hospital after weeks in the NICU. The cards your kids made you for Mother’s Day when they were young. The love letters your father wrote to your mother when he was serving overseas in World War II. Those things, once gone, can never be recreated.
But even so, there is a hope greater than the things we can see and touch and mourn the letting go of. What peace comes when we can cling to the Hope of eternity, the Light of the world.
“So lift your voice just one more time
If there’s any hope may it be a sign
That everything was made to shine
Despite what you can see
So take this bread and drink this wine
And hide your spirit within the vine
Where all things will work by a good design
For those who will believe
And let go of all we cannot hold onto
For the hope beyond the blue”
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1
“ Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.'” – John 8:12