Blogathon for Pearlington

Sunday, August 27, 2006

On a Clip and a Prayer

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the Pearlington site and watched the CNN clips taken at various times in the past year. Two particular moments stood out to me:

When nurse Angela Cole was asked how the media depictions compared to being there, she said that it was far more devastating and further reaching than the media was able to show, and that viewers were spared the effects on all of the senses, that is, we didn't have to smell the stench of sewage or fight off bugs and mosquitoes.
Her honesty and dedication is humbling: her persistence is admirable.

The second moment came during a piece on Mardi Gras. The town had had a parade, and there were shots of children in their multicolored necklaces having a good time. One of the residents said that she was afraid that viewers outside the area would take this to mean that residents were back on their feet--which they were far, far, from being. Pearlington's restoration is still a work in progress and they need volunteers to continue to come down and help out.

What I admire about the volunteers depicted in the CNN clips is that they keep arriving to help, and they do so without needing external validation. Church groups, med students, fire fighters and others travel to Pearlington to do what must be done.

In a video created by the UBC, Daniel Vestal, pastor, posed this question to his congregation: "What will you do with the pain of people affected by the hurricane?"
And I am reminded of writer Karen Armstrong, who, in researching acts of prayer, describes it as including selflessly doing something for others. The hard work being done in Pearlington by residents and volunteers can be seen, then, as one large, interdenominational prayer.

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