Sandy. A Name Not Soon Forgotten

Not sure about you but I've been glued to the news - online and on TV for the two weeks, ever since I heard the term "Hurricane Sandy" and saw what they were predicting and then ever since, viewing the devastation to my "hometown area."  Landfall in the United States was, basically, Atlantic City, NJ.  As a Jersey native, I've spent several weeks and weekends at many of those now ruined beaches.  My friends have homes there, family is there...  I have ties to the area that go to birth and my heart has been aching.

What is even more heartwrenching is to read articles, like this one, about those "forgotten" victims of Sandy.  Cuba and Haiti seem to be the hardest hit while Jamaica and the Bahamas also suffered damage but not as devastating.  Areas of the world already poor, already dealing with past hurricanes and earthquakes, all but obliterated by Sandy.
The video and stories of tempers flaring, emergency relief slow and insufficient...it all continues to mount up.  Then, a friend posts an article about another nor'easter expected this week bringing with it definitely not-needed rain, winds and freezing temperatures, sure to create massive misery on top of already existing misery.

My prayers continue, almost constantly.  I don't think I've prayed for anything harder than I have for the people affected by Hurricane Sandy except for my children and my mother when she was ill.  Today I posted on Facebook that I left August 31, 1989 and drove my then 3 1/2 year old son west to Washington in 4 days, put down "roots" and have felt at "home" ever since but after this storm?  I realized just how much of my heart I'd left in New Jersey.  So much of who I am now started in New Jersey.  Almost every lesson I had to learn, I had to learn the hard way and I did it there.

What is disturbing is how many people were not prepared for this storm.  How true is that for all of us, though?  Aaron & I have been saying for years this is the year we want to be prepared - make sure we have a week's worth of food on hand, water on hand, blankets, etc. and keeping our gas tanks at full all the time.  And we don't do it.  If we were to have a significant earthquake, our home would not be prepared.

And I take it further.  How prepared am I to kneel before God, with Jesus as my Advocate and give an accounting of my life.  If that "emergency" were to happen what would be the result?  These thoughts come to me when I have slacked off - slacked off in my prayer, my church attending, my Bible reading and studying.  When I have drifted away from my anchor because He certainly hasn't let go of me.  And I am humbled.  And convicted.  And I come before Him contrite and asking forgiveness.  And He always does... And my heart is overwhelmed again.

How will those people in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Virginia, Maryland and all other places affected by Sandy I haven't listed prepare now?  What will they do?  How will they look at life differently?  It's usually an overwhelming life-altering moment that gives us pause, makes us take stock, figure out what's important and move in that direction.  That's the short term.  Then, nothing happens for a while and we get that safe feeling again, let things slip, procrastinate...

Until the next nor'easter is forecasted.

How has Sandy changed me?  Besides realizing I am very proud of where I came from, where I grew up and the people who live there, I have realized that my relationship with my Creator needs me to participate more, be present in it.

Here is praying I don't slack off... again...  And even more?  Here is praying the people in New York & New Jersey recover - stronger and better prepared for the next one.  Because it's coming.

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