Take a look at this restoration project. A taste is shown above.
This is what one of the owners, Mary Cooper, had to say about the process:
Anyone who's moved into a near ruin, lived through the destruction and restoration, and done most of the work themselves can appreciate the intensity of feelings that flash across Mary Cooper's face when she talks about her home.
"It was a long struggle and more work than anything I'd ever done," Mary admits. "But I didn't concentrate on all the things that were missing. When I shined a flashlight inside and saw a Creole ceiling with exposed beams overhead, it took my breath away and carried me through."
As someone who has done some refurbishing and refinishing, I know the work and sweat that goes into a small project. I can only imagine what Cooper went through to get this house looking like this. This house is her treasure -- a source of great pride and the reason for a huge sense of accomplishment. Or at least it was.
This house, in case you didn't read the linked story, is in New Orleans, a few blocks away from the Mississippi River. Chances are Mary's home is severely damaged, but I have no further information on her situation.
I do not mean to make light of Mary's plight, but when I was told about this story today my mind flashed to two passages of Scripture. First, a parable told by Jesus:
Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.'
"Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." '
"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."
The other passage also comes from the mouth of the Master:
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
There is nothing wrong with having nice things, provided we are not living for our luxuries instead of living for our Creator. But the things of this earth can be gone with the passing of a storm.
Once again, my prayers for all who have been affected by Hurricane Katrina and their families.