Seeing with our Hearts and not our Eyes

I am typing this post with such a heavy heart. I hate to see any type of suffering and to see and feel the devastation that my community is enduring is quite overwhelming.  Eight parishes, yes EIGHT parishes in south Louisiana have been drastically affected by an unpredictable flood. These flood waters entered approximately 75% of homes in Livingston Parish alone. Schools have been closed and many are now working to repair and rebuild.

Today, I was in Denham Springs (where 90% of the homes were flooded) helping my Aunt gut out her home and  I found myself overtaken with emotion as I saw countless families returning to their homes to asses the water damage. Traffic was backed up and I was able to witness some of their reactions.  Faces filled with distraught, confusion, pain and several in tears as they gazed upon all their damaged belongings that they had worked so hard for. Children upset to see that their homes were in such a disarray. Definitely a sight that would break the heart of the ‘manliest’ of men.

On the other hand, in the last several days I have also witnessed quite an incredible sight. I have seen people from all walks of life join together to help their community get back on their feet. Never considering skin color or age or gender or sexuality to be a factor. In fact, we saw each other either as people in need of help or people that wanted to help. It’s as if our vision has been corrected. I am so incredibly proud to be part of a community that rises above the storm. As a whole, we are compassionate people and we have a heart to serve others.

This is an image of a few of my students making cupcakes to serve to the flood victims in Albany. #proudteacherstudents

To all victims of the flood, you are in our hearts and prayers! We are LOUISIANA STRONG!


Joni Smith


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