Thursday, September 15, 2011

Beauty Blooming

In the dreary days following Hurricane Irene, this photo showed up in a number of news outlets.

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(Edited to add: A comment just came in asking why someone didn't rescue these people instead of just taking a picture. I hadn't even thought about that perspective, but now that it was brought up, I can sure understand why the picture would elicit that sort of question! I neglected to make it clear that this photo was taken well after the storm had passed; the family had just waded to the steps through shallow water to sit together in a poignant moment of saying good bye to what had been there.)

This is what used to be connected to those steps. (Next three photos by Jimmy Williams.)

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A view inside the house.

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This is what the house looks like now. It was picked up and carried about 300 feet and then just dropped and splattered.

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This is what was left behind.

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Two weeks ago, I had never even heard of this house which as it turns out was sort of an iconic sight on the Outer Banks. There are pictures of it in the Norfolk airport and there is even a calendar completely devoted to pictures of the home. But I was about to be introduced to a lovely and sad Outer Banks landmark.

Shortly after the hurricane, Steve and I took dinner to Chris, a man who attends our church. He and his friends were working on cleaning up the mess that flooding had left behind in his home.

As we stood and chatted a few minutes, Chris explained to us why there was a pile of rubble just a few feet from his front door blocking his driveway—it was the house that used to sit on the water. When he walked Steve and I down to see the place where the house had sat, we happened to run into the home’s owner, Billy Stinson, who was outside doing some clean up.

Now here’s a guy who just three days before had lost a home that for many decades had been a place where his family had created thousands of sweet memories. (Our State magazine did an article on the house and the family which is fascinating to read.) Billy shook our hands with a smile and thanked us for our expressions of regret about the important part of his family history that had been swept away.

But then he added quietly and calmly, “I believe that God will bring something good out of this; my wife and I are very much at peace about the whole situation.”

Billy is not alone in this way of thinking. Over and over I have been inspired and challenged by the attitudes of these people around us who have lost so much. I really haven’t noticed a lot whining and complaining—only a calm attitude that they will deal with it and they will move on.

As Steve and I finished our conversation and got back into the van to leave, I noticed that just a few hundred feet away from the devastated area, there was still beauty blooming.

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I’m so thankful today for beauty of all kinds, but mostly the beauty of a heart that unfailingly trusts in the fact that good can arise from the most difficult seasons of life.

And In Other News

Really and truly, wedding pictures are coming. Soon. Very, very soon.

And also? A blog entry written entirely by my fabulous husband is on its way.

Be sure to check back . . .

4 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

lifebythecreek said...

I cannot help but to think of the parable of the man who built his house on the shifting sands, vs the one who built on a rock. In times like these, it is easy to see who has that firm foundation in their life. God promises that He will give us peace when we trust in Him, and its' worth is much greater than gold or mansions. But still.. my heart aches for their loss. Not of a house, so much as a home and a history. Praying...

Anonymous said...

Maybe I am missing something here; but why would someone take the time to photograph these folks instead of immediately rescue them! I am just slightly (okay very) disturbed by this! I guess my thought is, "Anything for a photo op!" Maybe I am missing something like I said!

deb8able said...

It never even occured to me that those poor people needed to be rescued - they look sad, not in distress. question from older post...what kind of muffins did you and Sarah make when you were preparing for the hurricane? They look so delicious in that picture!

becky m said...

in situations like this and really like any, you can not focus on what was lost or what was done, it can not be changed. you just accept and move on and hope that there is a silver lining in it. it is a lesson that takes learning and takes work but life is less stressful when you can finally accept it and not worry about things in which you can not control and always believe it will work out in the end, somehow,someway.