PERSONAL REFLECTIONS OF THE PAST WEEK
LIFE GOES ON OR DOES IT?
Chief Justice Rehnquist dies and we have all the misery in New Orleans and in the Gulf Coast; no telling what the death count will be. So sad. And, yet life goes on. The college football season is in full swing and not a seat is empty.
Someone once said, "We are a fast food nation and the news media has the attention span of a gnat." Will this be the case? I hope not. There are so many ramifications to the aftermath of the hurricane that it is simply overwhelming.
But, for now, we need to look to what we can do individually even in the midst of life charging on. And, where we can, I think, Americans are stepping up with over 200 million in personal contributions thus far and more to come for sure.
SAN FRANCISCO RESPONDS
The Salvation Army is bringing 400 refugee families from New Orleans to San Francisco; they will be housed at St. Mary's cavernous basement and fed by the Salvation Army. The kids will go to school and social services will be provided. Many of these families will relocate to the Bay area which will be quite a dynamic; and, maybe, San Francisco will provide the model for the rest of the country.
The more I've watched the news, the more I've realized that what the hurricane did is expose this enormous underbelly of disenfranchised people. Suddenly, here they were face to face with the world.These people were the people that most never saw: the working poor, the maids, the illegals, the musicians, the homeless. People from various walks of life were out front for all of America to see.
MOVIES REFLECT LIFE AND OFTEN TEACH
After watching the news last night with so much misery, I was flipping through the channels and found this movie: Dirty Pretty Things. The main character was a Nigerian and an illegal immigrant in London. He was a doctor in his homeland, but supported himself by working as a taxi driver and hotel clerk in London. He never slept. This Nigerian doctor and all the other characters in the movie were the underbelly of a city, much like New Orleans.
The story line revolved around his survival and in helping an illegal maid survive and evade deportation. In the process, he literally discovers a human heart in the toilet and realizes that someone is selling body parts; and, in this case, someone has died. And, why are they selling their body parts? They are desperate to escape their hopeless life just like the folks from New Orleans. He tries to do the right thing but is surrounded by corruption at the hotel where he works.
If there has ever been a case where the realization of the Calvinist view of the depravity of man is evident, this movie represents it: the sweat shop boss who preys on his desperate workers, and the hotel manager that recruits, butchers people, and sells body parts.
Sounds macabre but not, really; the main character was very gentle, real, and caring; and, amidst all the misery for real in the world, he was a noble being. It was a heavy movie to watch with the current situation in New Orleans of which we are experiencing through a type of uninvolved participation. New Orleans at times seems like a movie. We are watching it; and think, it isn't real. But, it is!
New Orleans is going to teach us many things I hope; but, for now, movies reflecting life can drive home lessons. Dirty Pretty Things does exactly that: we do what we can. And, from all outward appearances, America has stepped up. But, we are just beginning! Please dear Lord, let us not be "a fast food nation with the attention span of a gnat!" God bless all those suffering from Katrina. KT
ASHAMED IS THE OPERATIVE WORD
Third world country is an ample description. To be honest, I have been amazed and mesmerized and glued to the TV for several days. I have just read where often many Americans of the WW II era talk about "the before" and "the after" of the war. After September 11, 2001, we thought of before and after 9-11; and now, I think of before and after New Orleans. I really could hardly believe what I was seeing.
I watched the looting; and, really in a sense, don't know what to say about it. I can understand when people are desperate and they are getting food or water; but, carrying out TVs, that is another thing. Nevertheless watching, we saw them enter into a survival mode and who could blame them. We screwed up!
I heard this one reporter who was in the Super Dome talking about the levels of survival that existed. Here there were like 30,000 people, no order, no one in charge, and no police presence. Many reverted to survival mode.
(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
There is no spin here: we were sitting on our hands for a day or two. New Orleans apparently had no contingency plan. The mayor sounds like he is as dumb as a box of rocks-I mean, gee whiz, go to the Super Dome and hang out? They should have had the basics: food, water, portable toilets, etc.
What were they thinking? The mayor, the governor, or the federal government should have brought in the ex-military types; they have knowledge and know how to execute a "worst case" contingency plan.
New Orleans was and is a third world country with refugees and we should all be ashamed. Now, this isn't Somalia or Mogadishu, but New Orleans. This was surreal like in the movie Escape From New York with the looting, shootings, gunfire, and carjackings.
We will be examining our shortcomings for years and we should. God bless all those folks in New Orleans, Mississippi, and Alabama. KT
God Bless The Victims of Hurricane Katrina
Our Thoughts and prayers are with those living in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. God Bless the National Guard and Coast Guard, FEMA, The Red Cross, Salvation Army, and the many others in their rescue and relief efforts.
But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about God's wonderful kindness and love (Acts 20:24, NIV).
The Webzine is taking a little break. We will be back Friday with new articles. Take a look at the daily devotions if you need a webzine fix.
I hope we are never the same again.KT
Other misery in the world doesn't stop merely because we have our own tragedy in America.
(AFP: AFP/Robert Sullivan)
We can supply the rest of the world at a moment's notice but can't get an airdrop to our own people two full days after a disaster.KT
(REUTERS/Jason Reed )
Why was there no emergency airdrops of water and meals ready to eat (MREs) to the people? We have warehouses full of that stuff. KT