Today, Maggie and I met with a new homeowner, Ms. Johnson, who was looking for help with her electrical work and plumbing. The rest of her home was close to finished. Her contractor was a neighbor that grew up in her neighborhood and genuinely cared about the work he was doing for her. He searched scraps and surpluses to find beautiful tile and cabinetry to put in her home.
As Ms. Johnson tells us about how lucky she is to have him, she almost bursts into tears. She then tells us that her son is in the military and he and his military buddies raised money to purchase a stove and television for her. Again, Ms. Johnson can hardly tell us the story without breaking into tears.
Ms. Johnson tells us story after story about how her faith in God has brought her through these tough times and how He has provided for her. She tells us September 11 now has a completely different meaning for her as that is the date she evacuated the island and left her possesions to the ravages of Hurricane Ike.
"My car was Iked," she said. As soon as she said this, I new I would also use Ike as a verb for the rest of my life. Much friendlier than other 4-letter words, but perhaps with a much harsher meaning. However, again, Ms. Johnson was able to get a car from her youngest son that was completely paid off.
"God has opened up windows, for me," Ms. Johnson said. "Some people like to say that God opens up doors, but I've got a lot more windows than doors, and God has opened them up."
Ms. Johnson is living in Texas City with a friend, but in the past few months she says windows keep opening in her life to shine the light. Episcopal Disaster Relief hopes to open one last window for Ms. Johnson by providing the funds for electrical and plumbing work.
"Some people have door faith," she says "but I have my window faith, and I'm happy with that."