“Weathering the Storm – Hurricane Katrina”
Tuesday, September 20, 2005 †
Decomposing bodies float amongst the flooded waters of the gulf coast area. Along with them pieces of torn homes float by caring more wreckage and random debris such as tree limbs, broken glass, automobiles … you name it. Anything that was once alive and did not flee in time out of the dark water’s destructive path was swallowed up by the rising waves and left floating down city streets and avenues. The wrath of hurricane Katrina was not biased or prejudice against any one gender, race, religion, or class. All who were in its path was swept by its powerful forces of wind and water. But yet, amongst these rivers of death that now run through almost all remaining standing homes and buildings, God’s loving arms rose to comfort the broken spirits and battered bodies. 28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,” Christ said, “and I will give you rest,” (Mathew 11:28). Notice Christ did not specify any one specific to come to Him for this healing. He did not say: come to me all you Christians, or all you wealthy, or all you poor. He also didn’t say: come to me all who are holy, perfect, and sinless because the love of God does not discriminate or show prejudice. Christ said – ALL you who are weary, come to Me – and yet the media reports possible favoritism or lack of assistance to those who don’t fit a certain profile. Were there grave human mistakes made? Sure. Were there confusion, delays, and disorganization amongst the rescuing squads? Sure. But when has humanity under any government been able to respond to disasters, war and chaos with flawlessness and elegance? My guess is none. Our human creature posses many flaws, and it is from those flaws that in the face of disruption we tend to loose faith, become angry and unlawful, we’re more prone to hate and blame then we are to help one another and say thank you. But instead of the vision to see the worst side of our human nature, would it be possible for the media and for us to see the more natural side of human nature, that is, the part of us that was originally molded in the shape of Christ?
The Bible tells us in numerous Scriptures that the Spirit of God lives in our hearts, and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit abides in our minds. We were made to love, created to help yet when the rough winds and wave come crashing in against our fragile boat, instead of holding on to that faith, we find it easier for us to abandon it all and embrace the evil nature that lurks around us constantly. In the Book of Mathew 8:25-26 (NIV) when the seas got rough and the wind blew strong, tossing the boat and disciples to and fro all that was on board begin to panic and holler, all except for Jesus that is. 25“The disciples went and woke Him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We're going to drown!’ 26He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’" Humanity long ago lacked faith in God’s power to control and conquer all, even those that are evil and in chaos. And it seems after the thousands of years that Christ has tried to show us and reassure us of His love and protection for us, we still loose faith and panic in the hours of despair.
I’m not by means suggesting that we don’t show our natural emotions or that we prohibit each other from being free to feel, but one can still be human and show and place our deepest faith in God, knowing that He will come to rescue us. It is hard for many, perhaps for those who suffered most, to believe that it was not God’s wrath that did this to the people of the gulf. What would His reasons be, that some how only that particular pocket of people on this planet sinned, and therefore deserve punishment? If that were so there would have been natural disasters taking place all over the world, at every single moment and every day. He’d have to wipe out humanity itself, for who amongst us is free from that ball and chain. This idea and all others like it, if you say it out loud and listen to the reasoning you’d hear how preposterous it sounds.
Instead what should the media and the rest of us see amidst this tragedy? How about hope? For as one senior gentleman responded when asked by a reporter why did he stay and why is he cleaning up the city’s streets on his own, he responded, “… because of hope, without that what else do we have? Or – How about the genuine and natural goodness of the human spirit which was demonstrated by thirty Virginia inmates, who collectively donated their two weeks pay which added up to only $138.00 total. They said, “those folks needed it more than we do.” Didn’t Jesus say of the poor widow who gave of her two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on," (Mark 12:43-44). Or - How about seeing the greatest Commandment take place amongst the people when a man who caught people trying to break into his home to seek shelter? Instead of reacting with hatred and violence he welcomed them all to find refuge in his house. 35“’For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me,'” Christ said. “’I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me,’” (Mathew 25: 35-36, 40).
God’s perfect and good Spirit dwells inside all of us; however, we ourselves are not perfect in our being. That is why we are prone to mistakes. But have no doubt that we were made of love so we can love. There are just as many if not more examples of how mankind lived by the way of the Bible during this time of suffering and healing then there are examples of how mankind fell into darkness. What was missing was faith – the faith that God will not abandon us and the faith that God will heal us all. Faith – just ask the 74 year old gentleman that was rescued from his home 18 days after the storm began. He survived on a gallon of water. When asked why he was stranded, he replied, “my family had all left earlier, but I stayed behind to attend mass.” When church service was over it was too late for him to try and leave, but the Lord kept his 74 year old fragile body safe in His arms through the hurricane.
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Can someone critique this article for me? I am battling with chronic lymes disease and it's slowly effecting my cognitive abilities - including reading, writing, & comprehension on bad days. I just need to know that it hasn't stolen everything ... that i'm still winning this battle and not the bugs. I realize this article is 4 years old but it's an example of my best foot put forward.