A "monk"of sorts, reminded me of the following paragraph from The Way of the Heart by Henry Nouwen.
“Three Fathers used to go and visit blessed Anthony every year and two of them used to discuss their thoughts about the salvation of their souls with him, but the third always remained silent and did not ask him anything. After a long time, Abba Anthony said to him: ‘You often come here to see me, but you never ask me anything,’ and the other replied, ‘It is enough to see you, Father.’"Nashville has taken pride in the way we have reached out to our neighbors in this disaster, with so little national media coverage in the first several days. "We are Nashville" has become our motto. We've assembled workforces, donations, and hours of prayer on behalf of those who have lost so much. As the buckle of the Bible Belt, we have all tried to live up to the reputation that people around the world would expect to see (minus the Bible beating and proselytizing).
The flood has given people in this area to practice a genuine faith and belief in their own backyards; that is, to show the love of Christ unconditionally.
Still, another thought creeps into my mind from the passage above. I can't help but to ask myself if I am more concerned about people losing their "stuff", rather than being concerned about their well-being. I know it sounds awful, but I'm afraid that it's easy to equate one's well-being with "stuff" they own. Do we risk deceiving ourselves by saying "the more stuff we have the better off we are?"
When we rally to help people rebuild their lives, do we risk helping people rebuild their lives and confidence in the stuff that causes them so much pain then to lose? How do we help people, including ourselves in the rebuilding of our cities, to say "It is enough to see you, Father?"
I sincerely pray that lives are restored completely to the way they were before the flood, but this event and these thoughts have made me realize that simplicity is good when you can truly let go of everything else. That's my prayer for those who are rebuilding.
As my mom always said "just find the good in it." I hope the good is found in the recovery.