Posted by: JennyRain | August 26, 2006

Blank Spaces

Th b rd fl w nt th w nd w.

What do you do when you encounter blanks in your life?
 
Blanks are those muddied places in our lives that seem to have no rhyme or reason for being there, but they are. They are grey areas that we cannot explain away…mysteries that linger for years, refusing to be solved as simple logic and quick-witted colloquialisms smack directly into the fortress of reality that has built itself around all of our interpretations.
 
Hurricane Katrina was a blank. It showed up in an unexpected place, removed the vowels, and left our sentences bereft of meaning, clarity, and purpose. After the storm, we rushed to fill in the spaces with plausible explanations, spiritual pain-killers, and beaker-tested scientific theories, but a year later, we still have the blanks. And a year later our hearts are still asking…
  
Why would God allow something like Katrina to happen to me?
Were we really evil like the preacher said?
Am I so bad that I deserve to lose everything?
Was this the only way for me to make a change in my life?
 
Windblown

I shared many a grammar-wise paragraph on Katrina until 400 evacuees showed up in my back yard one year ago and shattered the well-diagramed sentences with floating commas. Now I have a different story. It is called Windblown (below). Katrina has been a defining moment in my life, and it was not even my storm.

Are there blanks in your lives for which you are seeking an explanation? I am praying for you as you read this…

In early September, the winds of Hurricane Katrina blew into town. The winds were the after-effect of the storm of the century and for many, including me, were aptly entitled the winds of change. Here in this place the driving wind has torn down old structures, rebuilt others, and powerfully chiseled away at longstanding strongholds… those that tended to remain more out of tradition than function. Here we embraced our fear of the wind and like stepping stones named recognize, hearken, and anticipate we could only see the path after it sat us down. We did not invite its brutal invasion, nor were we glad it had arrived, because its cacophonous clatter did not sound like a wind chime until months later. We listened for the singing of the wind but heard only a scream.
 
I am not a victim of Hurricane Katrina. I am an after-care specialist. Yet in this season, the storm has shaped and molded me by virtue of proximity to those it has affected. Wind is a powerful entity and ransoms none untouched by its uncontrollable force. It is untamable, inescapable, unremitting, ever-present. If it whistles to your neighbor, it will shriek at you too. The wind refines. It destroys. It rebuilds. Like water, it can seep into every hidden corner and overturn even the most concealed and motley assemblage of dust-particles. Only when we see the newly mobile dust-bunny escape the clutches of the corner and roll straight into the middle of the living room floor do we know that the wind has been at work. The refuse can now be disposed of…
 
[Blank] 
 
…For me, Katrina had been a defining moment, and it was not even my storm, it was someone else’s. Yet I had felt its force as if I had been in the wake of the flood itself, and as the waters receded, I was left standing as only a frame of what I had once been…

[Blank]

Looking out the window of time, I noticed a lone leaf dancing along the wind currents. The crackly-brown edges of the leaf contrasted with the new-life-green in its middle. It seemed to be on an adventure with the wind, dancing to music known only to leaf and wind, following the gentle breath with a graceful submission, rising and falling, flipping and bending, molding itself into the current rather than fighting against it. My eyes trailed longingly behind it until the leaf was out of sight. I sat in my now-too-confined space awaiting a gentle but familiar nudge of the wind to encircle me in its power and carry me forward…without a care of where I landed.

[Blank]

Looking out the window of time, I noticed a lone leaf dancing along the wind currents. The crackly-brown edges of the leaf contrasted with the new-life-green in its middle. It seemed to be on an adventure with the wind, dancing to music known only to leaf and wind, following the gentle breath with a graceful submission, rising and falling, flipping and bending, molding itself into the current rather than fighting against it. My eyes trailed longingly behind it until the leaf was out of sight. I sat in my now-too-confined space awaiting a gentle but familiar nudge of the wind to encircle me in its power and carry me forward…without a care of where I landed.

 

To fill in the blanks, e-mail me to get the story in its entirety. At least what I have so far…

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Responses

  1. If we always have the easy answers, it means we’re not addressing the right questions. The complexities of life cannot be solved by well-worn catch phrases or empty well-wishes. May the Father use Katrina and other disasters to help His children re-focus on real life issues and questions without seeking to give a quick, easy answer; but to fully engage those with problems allowing the Holy Spirit, the Living Word, and the heart of a servant to respond in grace.

  2. […] me this outreach became a defining moment that served to move me into full-time ministry and I had the privilege to impact thirty-one families […]


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