The Day They Gave A Standing Ovation at IHOP

The awful devastation of Hurricane Harvey made me remember something that happened twelve years ago.

Twelve years ago Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It has taken these twelve years to recover. Like me, many people in my home area recall the devastation and anxiety associated with such a great disaster. Over 1300 people died. Thousands lost all of their possessions. Many, many people recount having water to the rooftops of their house.

One of the things that came from such a devastating event was the practice of placing an axe or a hatchet in your attic. Sounds silly, doesn’t it?

Many people in New Orleans died because they were trapped in their attics as they fled rising water. Thus, the reminder to be ready for what may seem like the most remote possibility ever. Place an axe in your attic.

For months after Hurricane Katrina, relief workers came to our area to help us recover. These people were God-sent. The largest and most visible group were Southern Baptist Disaster Relief workers. They were distinctive because they wore yellow shirts and yellow hats. The people of our area came to greatly appreciate these people who gave up vacations to work in South Louisiana and South Mississippi.

How much were they appreciated?

I had a meeting one day late in our recovery period at our local IHOP. As we had our meeting and enjoyed our meal, a group of people with yellow shirts entered the restaurant. I noticed them immediately, but I quickly returned my attention to my meeting. Soon, we couldn’t keep our attention on our food or our meeting.

I watched and joined the other patrons in the IHOP who began applauding and standing in honor of the people in the yellow shirts who had come to help hurting people. That’s how much they appreciated those kind folks. Sometimes we simply don’t know how kindness and concern affects other people.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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נ Nun Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. — Psalm 119:105 (NIV)