[ Divine Signs ]

Balm After the Storm

Four of my adult children and nine of my grandchildren live along our beautiful and now wasted Gulf Coast. They were spared all but minimum damage, and for this I am eternally grateful to our protective Father.

My son, who is a law enforcement officer in Gulfport, Mississippi, evacuated his family to relatives in Georgia just prior to Katrina's landfall, but he had to stay on duty. That duty now is of a very unpleasant "search and recover" type. My heart goes out to him as he shares some of his experiences, which he cannot do without tears.

I am a writer, not a photographer, but here I offer to you a little "verbal picture" of a gift I received from the Spirit as I began my cleanup, my heart heavy and hurting for my son and his community and all other devastated communities in the region.

Did you know that kudzu blooms? Well, it does, and the blossom it bears is a beautiful wisteria-like cluster of flowers, the colors falling in a range of hues from pink to blue to purple. An added bonus is the sweet perfume it releases.

I tell you this because there was kudzu growing up into the huge pine tree which fell across our driveway during Katrina. The blossoms were most prolific nearest the top of the tree. The fragrance of the flowers, mixed with the scent of the pine, was so very pleasant while we worked to clear the tree away that it made the job a bit more easy.

I probably would never have noticed those blossoms at the top of that tall pine tree if it hadn't fallen on my driveway. I can't even begin to understand what all this illustrates to my mind, except to say that maybe, just maybe, precious and pleasant things are here for us to enjoy, and perhaps we don't take notice or delight in them until heavy burdens come crashing down on us.

Perhaps one lesson we can all learn from Katrina is: The scent of pine and the fragrance of kudzu are a joyous reminder that God is very much with us in a world of constant, and sometimes horrific, changes. We should breathe deeply of that fragrance while we can!

Celeste A.

Eight Mile, AL