Today is the first day since we have lived in Ft. Wayne that I have noticed any significant storm damage on my way to work, other than from flooding. I saw a few large limbs down, one on a car. Almost like the several-times-a-week Spring storms of central Alabama.
There are, no doubt, people out cleaning up this morning. Pictures for insurance. Clearing twigs and small limbs. Checking roofs. Most of it will get cleaned up pretty quick, some over the next few days.
Some of it, however, will be missed.
Unnoticed until one night you awake to see that growing yellow brown spot spreading across your ceiling; or a loosened gutter finally comes unmoored and crashes with a bang; or you notice the scrabbling and mewing of new born squirrels in the ceiling after their parents broke through the damaged soffit and made a nest.
Storms come. Sometimes they leave a mess to clean up. Sometimes they ruin things. Sometimes the results are subtle, sometimes they drop a house on your sister.
Storms come through your life like that. It is important to assess the damages after the fact. Take a moment to look. Often the toll is uncounted to years later. I see it, I feel it, all the time.
On a personal level take time to identify the storms of your past. Reflect on what they did to you. Acknowledge it. Address it. Don’t “get over it” and don’t “move on.” Actually deal with it. Struggle with it. Maybe at the time you thought it was not so bad, maybe it cracked a support beam you couldn’t see. Talk to some one. Maybe talk to a councilor, maybe talk to the person who caused the storm.
On a societal level…it has been a bad hurricane season. Alot of it, however, is because we left things unsettled from our past. We had a Civil Rights movement because we didn’t address racial justice when slavery ended. We have tensions today because we as a culture didn’t want to do the hard work of continuing the Civil Rights movement. (Yesterday, in Fort Wayne Indiana, I saw a truck flying a Confederate Battle Flag going past the church. I wanted to stop the driver and have an potentially un-Christian conversation with him.) Racial tensions and injustice exist because we do not want to fix storm damage. We want to cover it up, make it easy, make it look nice, and move on.
Enough moving on. Enough quick fixes. Enough blissful ignorance. Enough good enough.
We need to deal with the storm damage. Racial inequality. Gender inequality. Economic injustice. Environmental mismanagement. The legacies of military action.
Get out your ladder. Go up on the roof. Take a look around.