Wednesday, August 31, 2005
God is in control.
It may be hard to see evidence of His presence in the midst of the unfolding story taking place in America’s Gulf Port and neighboring states. Even here in Germany, the images weave and bob across our television screens. The devastation is almost too much to comprehend.
A husband whose wife slipped from his grip in the surging floodwaters of New Orleans is probably one of the faces I will most remember. His hopelessness broke my heart. I know there are more stories that will never make the news as thousands of lives are irrevocably changed.
There are the accounts of courageous rescues – children swinging in baskets dangling from helicopters, everyday folks using boats to look for those stranded on rooftops or within dark attics, and still more risking their own lives to help reach those unable to help themselves.
Unfortunately, there are the images of looters. The first reports seemed to be of desperate people seeking food and water in a city that cannot provide either. But, as is the case with the human condition, the looting has gotten worse as people grab anything of value.
Tragedy seems to bring out the divine and the diabolical.
It’s hard to watch the pictures or hear the bottomless pain in the voices of survivors. For most of us, the natural tendency is to help. There are many ways to do that and I’m sure those so moved to do so will.
I can only think of one thing we can all do – pray. Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco has asked residents to spend today in prayer. While many so easily say it’s the least they could do, I believe it is the best and most we can do. As you watch the news, hear a radio report, or peruse the internet, stop and pray for those folks.
The residents of these states have months of struggles ahead. Yet the urgency to just find the living and provide basic human needs for them seems most critical right now.
Each of us can live out the beatitudes. It shouldn’t take a disaster to do so. I praise God that while the diabolical stories will surface in the floodwaters of this tragedy, the more divine examples of doing what Jesus would do will emerge, attesting to the Creator’s presence in His children.
My prayers are with all those whose lives have been touched by this tragedy. “There is power in prayer.”