Sat 21 Sep 2013
What a difference a week can make! The historic flood is past and we are now into historic clean-up mode. So much wet carpet and dry wall, ruined furniture and possessions lying out by curbs. The garbage companies are keeping busy as are restoration businesses and construction firms. Roads are being worked on, though some will not reopen for weeks.
Behind our house, there are some very talented heavy equipment operators trying, over several days, to un-do what Mother Nature did in about 20 minutes. They are digging out what is left of the bridge, re-routing the newly created stream-bed and clearing rocks, downed trees and other assorted debris. I was curious to know how an old tire got into our wilderness valley where no one can drive? If only it could tell its story!
Of course, no matter how skillful the equipment operators are, the valley and stream-bed are forever altered. The workers are simply trying to get the stream to go back under the bridge instead of around it. They are clearing out a channel through the mud and silt so that the stream will be close to its historic pathway. But the trees and vegetation that were wiped out by the two walls of water that came down successive days will be a long time in returning. The valley is more shallow due to about ten or twelve feet of silt and mud that has filled it in. It is also wider and more open. Last Wednesday, it looked one way; on Thursday, it was completely different.
In my life, I wish I could restore to “pristine” some relationships. I wish I could re-do those stormy conversations that released a lot of emotional mud and debris, forever altering the landscape of a friendship. Forgiveness can be asked for and given. Discussions about why there was the anger, frustration, the miscommunication can dig through the silted-in soul. All are helpful in getting the relationship back on track but it is never the same, is it. There is always a scar, a permanent rearranging of the rock, a long-time recovery of the growth that was washed away, taking several seasons before new plants begin to take roots in those scars.
Fortunately, our God is like the heavy equipment behind this old house. God sends the Holy Spirit to cut through trash and debris, to get things heading back in the right direction. God’s Spirit helps us do the work of healing necessary. Many times a storm clears out and cleans out things that needed to go, leaving room for new growth, native growth, healthier growth. It is never the same after a huge storm, natural or emotional, but sometimes, it is better.