Giant Live Oak trees shade the asphalt roadways on many New Orleans streets. Rails lay in the neutral ground where the St. Charles Avenue Street Car rolls. When you stick a toe on a rail, you can feel a vibration if a Street Car is approaching. You feel the power in the rails. Tourists take steps off the Street Car close to St. Charles and State Street where St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church sits. On Sunday mornings, tourists walk onto the slate floor narthex and are greeted by gentlemen in seersucker suits who welcome them to one of God’s Houses on The Avenue. Sundays at St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church are dress up days, to honor and worship God.
The senior Pastor is a South Carolina native. His grand Southern accent resonates off the faux painted walls of the church.
The church basement flooded during Hurricane Katrina. The church sat empty from the end of August till late November 2005. The people had evacuated but God was there in the empty city.
I think about my first January in the Greater New Orleans area. One week, the sky poured heavy rain for five straight days. I sat in my office, keeping in touch with friends and family through email. I didn’t go out of the house during those heavy rains.
I’ve hesitated going outside for the past two days. Heavy rains have hammered us. Clouds gather together, ready to burp out swift winds and rain drops the size of quarters. I have flashbacks to Louisiana rains. “Duckie” moved from Louisiana with us, but I have forgotten her for the past two days. She’s always ready for the rains, in her raincoat and hat. Me, not so much.