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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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September 30, 2005

'After Katrina'

That's what we're calling today at our office—because yesterday we closed the November issue, which carries eight pages of stories about the people who have lost so much in the hurricane and who are giving so much to care for all victims. But we realize, of course, that the "after" part is fleeting, Just for us, these few hours. We'll continue to bring you reports of the lives of all these folks for months, even years, to come.

But on this day-after-closing, I'm thinking about how much I enjoy the routine of it: the simple cleaning off my desk of the notes and drafts that go with the last month's work. And how much comfort, actually, that kind of rhythm brings to all parts of my life—tonight, going to the first concert in a piano series we've subscribed to for many years and with friends we've had for even longer. Tomorrow, dropping off clothes at the dry cleaners where the owner and I have shared the ups and downs of our children's 20s. Then going to get my hair cut by the stylist whose scissors has kept my short hair short for a long, long time as we've both gone through, and talked through, parents' deaths. And I could go on and on. And so could you.

But not the Katrina evacuees. Everything that was normal, usual, routine has been blown out of their lives. So much loss, so little dailyness to fall back on. So hard to imagine, for me, what it must be like.

For most of them, will life from now on be described as "after Katrina"?  I suspect so. What can we do—continue to be dis-comforted by their loss and continue to do what we can, when we can to bring blessings into these new days.

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