"Out of Sight, Out of Mind"

It’s been just over two weeks since the horrendous rain began that changed the face of Nashville.

In some ways that feels like decades ago…

In some ways the horror is still present every time I drive through my neighborhood…

For some, their lives were forever changed, the shock is just wearing off and reality is setting in.

Others were completely unaffected and life goes on as if nothing every happened.

The saddest thing for me in all of this is the tragedy of the ‘out of sight, out of mind‘.

Although most were inconvenienced for a couple of days, thousands have been completely displaced and have lost everything they own.

The thing that keeps haunting me is that with each passing day, life gets more and more back to its regular routine for most of Nashville and the horror that so many families are living becomes forgotten – out of sight, out of mind.

For many of these families, the real challenges of the financial burden to rebuild and restore are caving in on them.  For many of these families, they are facing a new range of emotions and the repercussions of post-traumatic stress.  The hard work is really just beginning.

We’re still finding parts of the county where water has finally receded and we’re just now – two weeks later! – getting into some of these homes.  In most cases, nothing is salvageable.

The media coverage is waning because the story is getting old.

The onslaught of volunteers (while amazing) will lessen as the weeks progress.

The city will focus on promoting tourism and getting the economic engine turning.

And I’m terrified that we’ll fall victim to the tragedy of the ‘out of sight, out of mind’.

Nashville, don’t forget the faces that still need hope.  I suspect these may yet be some of the hardest days for these families.

Don’t allow your lack of inconvenience cause you to forget those who were most greatly inconvenienced.

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  • waswrittenin May 19, 2010  

    I fear that, as well. That's why we should build a team of people (I'll be on it!) that won't shut up about it until people have been taken care of! Thank you for all that you do and for reminding us that there is still lots of work and that EVERY VOLUNTEER IS NEEDED!

  • Rachel May 19, 2010  

    You are right. Is it possible to send updates on specific families needing help and what they need? Is it just $$$ that is needed at this point or donations of goods and time? I'm all about motivating the troops, just need specifics on what is needed and where. You are doing a great job, friend! 🙂

    • jcatron May 20, 2010  

      I think some families are still figuring out exactly what they need. Money is definitely the biggie, but gift cards to Lowes and Home Depot are huge. They also need skilled laborers who can help them rebuild.

  • Sherie May 19, 2010  

    Jenni, thank you for voicing this. I have worked with people who have experienced trauma and so many want to move on before these people are fully ready to. Many will experience post traumatic stress that has not even started to surface. They are still in shock and yet in some ways the long term effects of recovery can be even more difficult than what they have experienced so far.

    God is big enough to meet the needs. We need to believe that with full faith, and then speak it out. People will need to see, hear, and experience the hope that Christ brings, and to find the truth that the spirit brings. I haven't read Pete's book yet, but the idea of a Plan B when things fail comes to mind. Rock bottom is a place to rebuild from and I will continue to pray from afar and ask the Lord how I too can be a voice, an advocate, and a presence in helping your community rebuild, renew, restore, and live vitally.

    • jcatron May 20, 2010  

      Thanks for your prayers and encouragement, Sherie!

  • Susan Briggs May 19, 2010  

    "Don’t allow your lack of inconvenience cause you to forget those who were most greatly inconvenienced." So true. Not speaking for my "loss" (because I've gained so much!), but for the thousands who have truly lost everything & have no hope because they have no way of knowing Jesus unless we give up some of our time, get OUT into the devastation, and share the Good News.

    • jcatron May 20, 2010  

      Preach it, Susan 🙂

  • alece May 20, 2010  

    i remember…

    and i so value you and your beautiful heart.

    i'm praying still, my friend. wish i could be doing more.

    • jcatron May 20, 2010  

      Appreciate you, Alece!

  • Dad May 20, 2010  

    Your thoughts could ring truer. At first everyone is affected in some way but as time passes most move on and the ones hit the hardest have to deal with it for years. I spoke to your aunt in Cedar Rapids Iowa today. We plan to go there next weekend. She told me she will take us down town Cedar Rapids to see what still after 2 years is still not back to normal. I wish I was close enough to help; I think and pray for Nashville ever day.

    Love you.

    • jcatron May 20, 2010  

      Thank you so much, Dad. Love you too!