Monday, January 10, 2005

Tsunami Afterthought

I've been keeping up with the statistics and many of the news story angles, even some of the various international perspectives on this tragedy. Sometimes I have to purposefully take a break (unlike the unintentional break I took from blogging last weekend) from all the news and commentary because it is truly overwhelming. It is painful to realize that, before this is all over, more than 250,000 will most likely be counted dead and certainly millions of lives have been devastated.

Of course, the survival stories, public sympathy and generosity have also been reported. It is truly inspiring to comprehend the positives that have come to light recently. I won't bother with the political side, except to say that many political differences have been temporarily shelved to deal with this crisis.

But one element that has stood out to me is this: Why does it take massive amounts of death and suffering to make people start acting the way they should act all the time? People should care about each other. People should put aside differences of opinion to create positive change, regardless of whether they gain personal power or a quick buck out of it. People should be generous. People should ask themselves "what can I do to help somebody in need?" without asking "what's in it for me?" So why don't more people do that? The answer is surprisingly simple: sin. The Bible speaks well on this and does a much better job than I could.

Best Wishes,

James 4: 1 - 10 (King James Version)

1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

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