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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Horror in the Big Easy

According to the latest reports, Thursday in New Orleans saw floating corpses, gunfire and chaos. The natural disaster, the so-called "act of God," is over. The hurricane has dissipated. But now the disaster known as fallen human nature will fill the headlines. Think Mogadishu or Darfur with water. Bands of trouble-makers, armed with rifles and AK-47s looted from flooded stores are cruising the devastated city. Some for profit. Arguably some for survival. Many others just for the thrill of it. William Golding wrote Lord of the Flies because he understood that without external restraints, even the sweetest among us will turn into savages. See the dead bodies left to rot in the Louisiana summer sun. Smell the raw sewage flowing in the streets. Snakes and alligators making nests in people's submerged bedrooms and patios. How many hundreds or thousands of people will have died by drowning, dehydration, infection, dysentery, cholera or heat stroke, not to mention bullets or lack of proper medical attention?

A wise Christian lady told me today that it upsets her to think of all the petty ridiculous people (ourselves included) who moan and whine because of their insignificant problems which are seldom anything more than inconveniences when you think about it (I'm paraphrasing for dramatic effect). This should remind us that there are people with real problems.

One of the most noticable characteristics of Jesus is that he had sympathy for those who were sick or suffering. And, with God, sympathy never sits still. God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son...." Did you catch that? God loved. And thus He gave Himself to save the human race. Having been saved and as people who continually benefit from the compassion of Christ, the church is mobilizing to help the hurting. Give to the effort by linking here.

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