I could tell you about the piles of personal items out on the streets.

Or I could tell you about the sore muscles from ripping out cabinets, walls, insulation, and every other thing in a water soaked home.

I could tell you how I teared up as I cleaned out Terry’s linen closet, as he apologized for the mess. I could tell you how I was embarrassed for him as strangers emptied his bathroom cabinets and took every private item into the public front yard.

I could tell you that I have never seen anything like this. Bellevue, a suburb of Nashville, looks like a third world country. No home was spared from the rushing Harpeth River. I could tell you about the smell. About the devastation. About the fact that this broken community has a long way to go to recover from this disaster.

But you can see for yourself.

What you can’t see? The spirit of the people. The massive amount of volunteers moving from house to house, following the bright yellow “VOLUNTEERS NEEDED HERE” signs.

You can’t see our hearts breaking and being restored in the same instant. You can’t see the devastation and remain unaffected. But you also can’t see my neighbors serving each other and not be strengthened.

You can’t see the stories. You can’t see the moments when everyone in the home stands still and listens to the owner tell of the days before the flood, not because it matters, but because it heals.

You can’t see the piles of laundry or the piles of dishes because when the Nashville government asked us to conserve water, people actually DID IT. And we avoided a water crisis because everyone actually conserved water.

I hope your community NEVER has to endure something like this. No, it is no where nearly as massive as Hurricane Katrina, but it is painful none the less. It is loss. It is heartbreaking. It is life-changing.

But in some ways, I’m grateful. We would not know the heart of Nashville if we wouldn’t have seen it for ourselves.

– – – – – – – – – – –

What can you do to help Nashville?

Pray for us.

Donate to help flood victims. [Or get some swag– very cool.]

Come visit- either to volunteer [Mission Trip Summer 2010 anybody?] or just to hang out. [We can meet up at Frothy Monkey– you know I love that place.]