Every day the news grows more grim. A city just spitting distance from being 300 years old has been devastated in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Thousands feared dead. Thousands more wait without basic human necessities to be evacuated.
It's all so sad.
And it comes back to - "You Just Never Know".
I told Jeff as we waited for the hurricane to hit that if you lived in these regions you'd have to constantly keep an emergency savings in order to evacuate in these types of circumstances. The harsh reality is that there were far too many people who did not have the money to do so and were forced to wait out the storm.
Katrina was unforgiving.
I think what disturbs me the most is that there are groups of individuals who want to lay blame for this type of natural disaster.
I've read that some Jihad groups have claimed responsibility. I've read that some religious groups have blamed the fact that there are abortion clinics or that New Orleans catered to gay tourism for their devastation.
It's amazing how, in the hands of some, god has become a twisted deviant who lies.
Because in the Bible *I* read, God is a loving father. In fact, Jesus says that if we, as human parents, would do so much for our children, how much more would God do for his?
I know, that no matter what my children do, I would never send this type of "punishment" - this utter destruction and chaos - to "teach them a lesson".
What, then, would be the point of Jesus dying for our sins, if God is just going to punish us for it anyway?
I don't understand how a person can look at the same pictures I'm looking at and feel anything other than compassion. Especially those who label themselves as "Christian" - or Christ-like.
It doesn't resemble anything I've seen of Jesus in the Bible I read.
Perhaps I got a special edition.
Because in my Bible it says that the one who seeks to kill, steal and destroy is the complete OPPOSITE of God, and that Jesus came to give life and that more abundantly.
God was not the force of the hurricane.
God is the miracles of lives spared, and the scope of human kindness as the world reaches out to the poor people who have lost almost everything.
Like Jesse Duplantis (a New Orleans based preacher spared by Katrina, thank God) says, "The only Jesus some people will ever see, is the Jesus in you and the Jesus in me."
So What Would Jesus Do?
Well, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be judgmental, sitting on his haunches and blaming the sin of the city for the wrath of Hurricane Katrina.
No. My Jesus would be in the midst of the suffering, offering love and healing to those which need it, saving his contempt for the pious religious leaders who sneer down their noses at anyone they don't approve of.
3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed.