Friday, November 16, 2012

In the wake of the storm

As many of you who know me IRL already know, I'm currently homeless. The home that is provided for my by the church I currently serve is situated east of the railroad tracks in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. Most of the homes and businesses in that part of town closer to the beach were damaged, many severely, by superstorm Sandy. My residence took on 18-24" of storm surge ocean water. We lost our hot water heater, furnace, washer and dryer, assorted pieces of furniture including many bookshelves, media shelves, two desl chairs and my executive desk in my home office. But it's really difficult for me to dwell on my own loss when I look around my new home town and indeed the surrounding shore area. As I told a reporter from the United Methodist Committee on Relief, it's unfathomable The devestation from this storm just goes on and on and on. From the rollercoaster in the ocean at Seaside Heights to the houses in the Barnegat Bay to the boats on Broadway in Point Beach... and that's only what I've seen in newspapers, a few online photos and in person. That's only the most local incidents for me. I've yet to see the grand scale of this storm's havoc because I've yet to see a news broadcast since before the storm hit. When my family and I were displaced we were taken in by another Methodist church about ten miles away who had an empty parsonage that they were using for homeless ministry. While the house has electric and heat, there is no network television and no internet access. So we spend our evenings watching DVDs that we've salvaged from our flooded family room. The intensity of it all is what's beginning to get to us at this point. Every day is about recovery. Everything we do has to be done differently because we're not home or things have changed. Every day one of us is overheard saying, "I just want to go home." We'll get through this. We'll get home. We'll find a new sense of normal. But right now, we're just surviving in the wake of the storm. Thank God for another day and the opportunities it brings.