Today is one of those days when I am full of anger and am asking the question, why? Why was Mississippi so devastated by Hurricane Katrina? Is it a punishment from God? I mean really, Mississippi was already the poorest state in the nation. Why us? Tears of anger are in my eyes once again. But you know these tears are healthy ones. It is the ones who still have the numb looks and glazed eyes after 18 days that are the ones who are in trouble.

In the post below, the Red Cross estimates that 65,000 homes have been destroyed here. I have been thinking a lot about that figure, 65,000 homes. That is the size of the city of Gulfport, my city.

So, again, is this some sort of punishment from God? People often speculate about that after disasters such as this and like the tsunami that struck in the Indian Ocean last year.

I want to curse, scream, shout, and punch something right now. But who or what? I guess it will have to be God because He is the only one that can absorb the grief and anger that people up and down the Coast are bond to feel.

So God, even though I am counted among the lucky 1,600 whose home was affected by Hurricane Katrina, why did You have to take away everything else? Why did You have to take away my job? Why did You have to wipe away those places I dearly love, such as the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor, the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor, the Long Beach Small Craft Harbor? Why did You have to damage Bayou Bernard? Why did You take away from me the simple pleasure of walking along a pier or the beach? Why did You destroy the homes of so many that I care about?

Do these questions of why, help? Yes they do. It acknowledges the grief over the things that are no more. Things that will forever be changed. Faces of co-workers I will no longer see because they have pulled up stakes and left.

So again, was Hurricane Katrina some sort of punishment sent by God? No, it wasn't. Hurricanes have a purpose. They cleanse bayous and swamps. They have cycles of being very active and not so active, just as sun spots do.

Hurricane Katrina is a test of all those affected by it. I have been reading the Book of Job. It seems appropriate to be reading this for he was visited by many afflictions and lost everything. He had those friends who tried to convince him that it was a punishment sent by God because of something he did. Job cursed God. He cursed his friends. But did he lose faith in God? No he did not. He persevered in his faith as many down here are doing. Maybe Mississippi was chosen because there are so many people of faith here. You see, after the first trucks from FEMA came in, the Coast was sent another deluge. A deluge of help from such groups as the Southern Baptist Convention, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and so many other groups. I have met people from Phoenix Arizona, Indiana, Minnesota, South Carolina, Texas, and so many other states.

A lot of people question whether religion has a purpose and whether there is even a God. Religion does have a purpose. It allows people to get together and help those in need. It instills sound character traits that allows those affected by tragedy to overcome. As for the question about the existence of God, God does exist.

I am angry but my faith in God is not shaken nor is my faith in humanity shaken. I have seen the good in people. People who are coping by sharing, by helping, and by laughing together. So even in this sea of devastation, the good people of Mississippi are huddling together. It does not matter if you are white, black, Hispanic, or Vietnamese. We are huddled together and are praying together and are rebuilding together.


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