I don’t pray much. Maybe a glance up when I buy a lottery ticket. My mother prayed, and it didn’t seem to do her much good. I’ve heard too many preachers pray for a big collection for the new edifice to take it seriously.
If I did pray, I’d pray for New Orleans, as I write this a city stuck in the dark without power, the whole place.
On the one hand if a city was made for the dark it’s New Orleans, with the crowds on Bourbon, the gothic churches and the celebrations of blues and sin, the dark history of slavery and piracy. The dead sleep in tombs above ground to avoid the flooding. Tonight some of those ghosts might float.
But for real people this is a night of suffering, and the darkness isn’t a game. It’s too real.
New Orleans was one of the last new places I visited before the pandemic, and while it was definitely alive and partying, you could still find evidence of Katrina’s damage. It didn’t deserve another one.
New Orleans will survive, fear not. It’s the closest thing America has to an eternal city. It has seen the best and worst. It has seen things.
But consider saying a word of prayer, or whatever you do, for the people who live there. That they make it through the same way.