Someone from my homeschool group forwarded this to the group:
This is the tail end of a story in the Burlington Vermont Free Press. It is written from an entirely secular viewpoint, but it ends with a poignantly spiritual twist. This is a diary by a volunteer nurse from Vermont who went down to New Orleans last month to help. I thought it was worthwhile to pass along the last entry in her diary which described this unusual observation concerning the Virgin Mary.
HOME: Nov. 6
I have been home for several days. My old routine, my kids, my life is pushing back the memories of what I have just experienced. The memories keep crashing in but one thing keeps coming back.
Traveling around -- no matter where I went, no matter the destruction I saw -- I kept seeing statues of the Virgin Mary. And they were never damaged.
Mary stood up tall in areas ravaged from raging floodwaters and wind and wild destruction. It didn't matter if she was plastic, stone or concrete, whether she was on the lawn, mounted on something, in-laid in something, always she seemed there, one hand up to the forces of nature giving the sign of protection. I thought it was coincidence, a series of flukes.
But while down there, I met another team of medical volunteers who had been stationed in a different part of Louisiana -- a bayou shrimping area hit hard by Hurricane Rita.
The team showed us pictures of the town that had taken a direct hit; Rita had steam-rolled the city flat. All except a church called Our Lady of the Sea.
And there, in the photos, stood the statue of the Virgin Mary, one hand up facing the ocean and the other arm wrapped around two children. A tablet rested at her feet saying, "Protect our children."
I'm not sure what it means. Perhaps it's a reminder that beneath all the rubble, deep inside the souls of the exhausted nurses and doctors and rescue workers, deep inside the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, there is still strength, still hope, still something powerful.
And maybe, too, we all need to get a statue of the Virgin Mary and put her on our front lawns.