What’s Left After the Storm


Well, that was a crazy week. Nashville had the most rain in recorded history in a span of 36 hours. Flood. It was insanity.

I ended up in a crew of folks in our neighborhood running from house to house over the first few days. We started out bailing water out of basements, shop-vac-ing in seeming futility for hours on end. Then we were ripping up flooring, pulling down drywall. Then hauling it out to the curb. Then taking a two-minute shower because the water treatment plants shut down.

What a week.

I had so many plans. Birthday party for our friend Katie. First church meeting in a new (temporary) building. Rock show at 12th and Porter with my amazing band. I was going to finish writing and recording new songs for YoungLife camp this Summer. Was going to cut drums and guitars on an EP for Seth Harper. Was going to make more money than I was spending.

Didn’t work out.

But a lot of other Nashvillians had plans, too. Some events, like weddings or meetings. But more so, plans to keep the family pictures forever. To hand down the wedding dress or that old guitar. To have a safe and welcoming home for their families and friends. To live and see their kids grow up, get married, have kids of their own.

For some folks in our city, these plans didn’t work out either.

But quite strangely, there are parts of me that are grateful. Grateful for the folks I didn’t know, who go to my church and showed up at my house to help haul soaked drywall to the curb. Grateful that I got to see my intentional Wednesday night friends again on Thursday morning. That we got to put action to what we always talk about. Seeing needs and getting to serve each other in a very tangible way.

A lot of people use the phrase “get your hands dirty”. Ours were filthy. Cracked and blistered.

As for our house, we had to rip out all the flooring and walls in the finished portion of our basement. What used to be the studio where we recorded “The Morning” and Andrew Peterson’s “Behold the Lamb” and a ton of other amazing memories is now just drywall and concrete. Thankfully, my new studio was unharmed and I didn’t lose any gear. But it was a backbreaking week that left us with three small dumpsters in the front yard and a week’s lost income.

Personally, I’m frustrated and inconvenienced by our losses. I grieve with those down the street who lost much more.

And I’m grateful none of us are having to face it alone.

I found this video today which beautifully shows what last week looked like for a lot of us. Some of these shots are within blocks of our home.

The Nashville Flood. May 2, 2010. from Michael Deppisch on Vimeo.

The video is here, for those of you reading this on facebook – http://www.vimeo.com/11431574


  1. Lynx

    Glad to hear that this disaster is drawing your community together! It’s a scandal that the rest of America has hardly heard about it. Stay dry and stay healthy!

  2. Dieta

    Our pastor still hdn’t finished his sermon when we spoke on Friday, and I told him I didn’t need one. I had seen it lived out all week long. Neighbor helping neighbor and when that was finished checking to see what stranger needed help. One of my friends made a facebook post about waiting to see the rainbow of God’s promise, and then seeing that it was in the community not the sky. All three of my kids and their friends taking the days off of school not to play video games or hang out at a mall, but to organize the youth group to help some 23 families-some from our church some just people they found going door to door. On a church in Easdt Nashville after the 98 tornado they had engraved in stone- God was not in the tornado, but in our response. I believe that with all me heart. Hope life gets back to normal soon. Sending love.

  3. Dryad

    I understand–in houston, after a year, we’re STILL recovering from HUrricane Ike.
    I’ll pray for you.

  4. Jaclyn

    Thank you, Andrew. What dreadful beauty. You and Nashville are in my prayers, and strengthening my heart. This proves that God is far beyond anything I ever imagined. And I love him… just not ever as much as He loves us.

  5. Laura Droege

    I pray that something beautiful will come from all of this and I see evidence of this prayer being answered already. Lives were lost, property destroyed…and yet people have come together, gotten their hands filthy, learned thankfulness for what is left. God has a purpose for our pain. (I’ve learned this the hard way.)

  6. Tony from Pandora

    In August of 2007, we went through a similar thing. In the Findlay, Ohio area there was water 4 feet high in some houses. My own parents just bought a 50″ TV as the finishing touch to their newly finished basement the week before it filled with water… within 1/2 an inch of running onto the first floor.

    It is amazing how these tragic events can bring people together. My father is not a christian, but saw the kindness of my mom’s church (she is a christian) and they spent 6 hours hauling out piles upon piles of furniture, clothes, photo albums, original vinyl Beatles records, among countless other memories. My father was very impressed by their work ethic and determination to help without even being asked.

    You and your Nashvillian friends are in our prayers


  7. Jane

    I have always (and continue) loved traveling to the beautiful city and state of Nashville, Tn. What’s even more beautiful is to hear and see the love of God show up in so many people and in so many ways. Our hearts and prayers have been with you and continue to be for days to come.

    God won’t take you to it, without seeing you through it. Just place your faith and trust in Him and receive His peace.

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