Tuesday, April 15, 2008


This picture haunted me in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It appeared online in the days prior to the hurricane making landfall. As most people were fleeing New Orleans, this man was among the ones who stayed behind and faced down the storm. Here he was, exulting in the signs that a monstrous storm was coming to devastate a region with its ferocity. I have often wondered if he made it through.

How many times in my life have I been warned by friends, family, and the Holy Spirit to avoid the storm of...whatever it might be... but I chose to face down the storm that inevitably comes with sin? How my sin blinds me to the truth! In those moments, I must look to God like the man in this picture.

Lord save me from myself.

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Have you ever been walking along, minding your own business- or better yet, minding The Lord's business- on a bright sunny day, when all of a sudden the skies darken, the thunder clashes, and the rain batters you relentlessly? After days or weeks of this, you cry out "My God! Why have you forsaken me?" You hear nothing in return. You wrestle with yourself over why this is happening. Wasn't I following God? Haven't I been hearing His voice? What have I done wrong?

For me, one of those storms is pain. I have a chronic condition in my neck that flares up and dogs me relentlessly. I pray. I cry. I lash out. I whimper. I get depressed. I start to worry about what the future hold. I turn all my thoughts and emotions inward.

And God whispers "Turn your efforts outward, toward I AM."

Praise Him in the storm.

Lift your eyes up to the hills. Where does your help come from? It comes from God, the maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121)

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

I want God's grace tattooed on my heart, so that in the midst of the storm, I can raise my hands and exult in the God who will never leave me.

# # #

Do you think this guy is actually planning to stick it out in New Orleans? I tend to be a little suspicious of the media, so I wonder if it was a planned photo op, something along the lines of this photo:

Before those men walked between the boat and the camera, viewers were being led to believe that the news anchor was actually floating in untold depths of water. Kind of makes you doubt the truthfulness of the media, doesn't it?!

On the other hand, isn't that a cell phone on the shirtless man's belt? If he planned to survive, wouldn't he have second thoughts about subjecting it to a torrential downpour? Where's his shirt? Does he have a place to stay while he rides out the storm? Does he have a supply of food and water?

For whatever questions a photo may answer, there are many more questions raised. I love that quirky beauty in photography.



  1. I guess it's true...a photo is worth 1,000 words. I just never realized most of those were questions! How observant of you!

    And thanks for the "devotional thoughts" in relation to the picture. Always good to stop and think about our perspective.