Long day yesterday touring the Coast with denominational officials. I liked all of the visitors; bright, smart and immeasurably kind.
The day was difficult for me beginning with the drive to East Biloxi on Highway 90. The roads are clear. Parts of the beach are free of debris but the devastation is everywhere. Our meeting-up place was a casino.
I find it insufferable that the casino is up and running looking like a brand-new place while the rest of the area is a blasted out misery. Money talks and everyone else will re-build as they are able. Early in the morning the casino bustled and the noise of slot machines got on my nerves. The dissonance between outside the building and indoors felt painful.
We toured PDA sites along as well as damaged churches. The visitors got a good look at what the hurricane did to the area.
Every church showed improvement either in clean-up or re-building. I'm pleased about this because I saw clear differences from two months ago.
I had a meltdown at one church where we stood in the empty sanctuary watching workers doing carpentry. I'm not sure what happened to me but the pressure of damaged churches, sympathetic visitors and hearing the church member say that 98% of the church members had housing damages brought me to tears. Folks, it's just tough down here.
I'm tough. I'm doing well. I'm dealing with it all.
Rats. Double Rats! Hearing the suffering in people's voices, seeing their devastation and knowing my own losses and fears is just a bit much for a tough gal like me.
The visitors talked about programs to help us. One is sending me a copy of Brueggman's Psalms just because. Another is going to help with loans for churches needing repairs and all of them were kind. The programs being offered are creative and will help us.
I left the meeting later in the afternoon. I'd had enough and just wanted to be alone.