Sep 1, 2008

Hitting Landfall.

Dear Gustav,

I am in Texas. Did you know this?

Is this why you are here?

Because I hear that things like Katrina are a once-in-a-lifetime event, so I am thinking that you heard I was in town, just had my hair "did" and decided to rain on my parade. Is that it?

Oh, you are a nasty one, Gustav.

And what kind of name is that, anyway? Gustav? Seriously, if you were all that nasty they would have named you Chucky, Freddie, Jason or Cujo.

Gustav makes you sound like you are going to hit landfall, break into a rousing rendition of a Walt Disney theme park number and have your shirt unbuttoned down to your navel.

Sorry Gustave, been there. Seen that.

But in all seriousness, do you know what kind of havoc you are wreaking?

Imagine being 90. And alone. And the only people that care for you work in the nursing home where you now reside. So you are their problem. And you hate being anyone's problem. Now imagine that they pack your things, but not all your things, just the few things they can grab quickly. So they leave behind the pictures of you and your husband on your wedding day. Or the dog tags your son wore. Or the bracelet your baby girl wore home from the hospital. Sure they take a nightgown or two, a pair of house shoes and a toothbrush. But those things can be replaced. Your heart cannot.

Or imagine being a mother. A single mom, at that. And it's all up to you, mama. Those big eyes are looking at you as you drive eekingly slow down a jam-packed highway - praying to God your car doesn't overheat. Or run out of gas. And hoping beyond hope that where they put you can accommodate all four of you. Because you're a team, you and your babies.

And let's not talk about someones puppy or kitty. And how they are dropping them off by the carloads down at the Lufkin Expo center, where they are checked in, put in a crate and added to the pile.

Or how another busload of people - families, children, moms and dads, someones granny and some one's pawpaw - pulled into the church parking lot today. As our volunteers prayed the beds would hold out, the food wouldn't run out, and there would be enough arms to reach out.

Gustav you really are something.
Coming into our towns and our homes.
Filling up our thoughts.
Awaking our fears.
Making us re-live old memories.
Making us remember those we lost.

Certainly, Gustav, you are more than a song and dance. More than an animated figure with a toothy grin and booming baritone voice. You are the fear that once again people will lose their friends, and their pictures, their homes and their jobs. And that we will have to watch as babies cry and go hungry. And momma's beg for some bread.

But oh, there is one bigger than you, Gustav.

Job 38:1, Then the Lord answered Job OUT OF THE STORM...

4 "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. 5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone- 7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
8 "Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, 9 when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, 10 when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, 11 when I said, 'This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt'?...16 "Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?...24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth? 25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm, 26 to water a land where no man lives, a desert with no one in it, 27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland and make it sprout with grass? 28 Does the rain have a father?

Chances are if you are on a cot tonight, or in a hotel room in a foreign town, you are not reading this blog. But for those of you who are reading...say a prayer. Say a prayer to the One whose "way is in the whirlwind and the storm." (Nahum 1:3)



Melissa said...

So frustrating that this is happening again. We are praying for those who are being hit by Gustav.

My hubby's grandfather is a Gustav and he's really not so bad.....however, i would probably vomit in my mouth a little if he did a song and dance and unbuttoned his shirt to his navel. I would see his Depends and that would give me horrid nightmares for the rest of my days.

Tracy P. said...

Wow, Melissa, how do you do that? Your perspective is amazing. Way to show us the hearts and the needs of the people we're praying for.

Midwest Mommy said...

Great post! I couldn't imagine.

Ashley said...

How do you ALWAYS have words... funny, appropriate, deep, and Godly??

Heather said...

Beautifully written. We will be praying without ceasing until everyone can make it home.

Amy said...

Very sweet post. And thankfully God IS bigger than any stinky ole' hurricane.

Angela said...

I love those verses from Job. Thanks so much for sharing. I got up this morning to find the storm is making landfall as a 2, which will hopefully mean much less damage and heartbreak than last round.

Still praying for you, by the way. Sending you hugs!

Breanne said...

Yes - so sweet. We are praying.

Rhea said...

Oh, I'm saying a prayer alright. I have family in Baton Rouge, including a 75 yr old grandmother who is alone in her home. I worry.

Taunting a hurricane isn't a good idea. lol

Rhonda said...

Very well said. I hope the hypothetical wedding pictures, dog tags and baby bracelet make it through the storm. That hit my heart the hardest!

And you're right. He has a stupid name.

Thinking about everyone in its path.

Putting the FUN in DysFUNctional said...

What a wonderful and heartbreaking post.

Sherri said...

My thoughts are with those being effected!!! Good Luck!!!

On a strange note --- of course here in Utah we don't get hurricanes but we do get some hurricane force winds -- which we did last night. We always are hopeful that the remnants of the hurricanes make to Utah so we get some rain....

Anita J. said...

Thanks Melissa, for taking me there.

Michelle R Photography said...

God has blessed you with a gift. Thank you for this. I am praying.

Lula! said...

I delurk. Therefore I am.

Gustav can get the heck out of Dodge, already. I'm so over him. But I'm still's what I do best.

ugagirl30 said...

Mr. Wonderful and I had the conversation yesterday about what we would take if we were required to evacuate. We both agreed on the necessities and the things that cannot be replaced, like wedding pics and baby momentos.

It was very sad for me to see ALL the carloads of Louisianaians evacuating through Alabama. There were more Louisiana cars on the interstate yesterday than Alabama ones. Very sad.

Hipmomofboyz said...

I'm in Texas too, but we are not as close to the coast...I hope you and your family are doing o.k. My husbands friend just called from La and said they were literally holding there door closed, the wind was so bad.

Unknown said...

Came here from Soliloquy. Gustav's big ol' eye just passed over us. He was a major let-down and an answer to prayer. It really was nothing compared to Lily or Rita. We never even lost electricity.

Anonymous said...

I am writing you from the guest room of our dear friends in Spring, TX. Our family is scattered from LA to Lake Texoma and Jonesboro, AK, but we are safe and grateful to God for His goodness. Please keep all evacuees in your prayers as we return home. Melissa, thank you for a beautiful message. Gail (homentx)

Unknown said...


GingerJar said...

I loved this post...I even wrote down all of the "Job" for my hubby to read.

My ex-step-daughter evac'ed to Tyler (near Lufkin)...her mom lives there...and went into labor and had her baby 2 weeks and mom are doing great.

After one in their right minds would stay ...especially as the forcasts were looking very grim. I personally will never ride out another hurricane in a double-wide...Dolly scared the be-jee's out of me!