(I originally wrote this on 9/3/2005, but did not post blog entries at the time.)
What message did Katrina send to us?
What are we learning together?
Compassion must extend beyond our comfortable neighborhoods…
We can’t just offer help or hope the tragedies occur at a comfortable distance. Is it easier to accept donating to a cause when it is half a world away? Somehow accepting that distant country need help doesn’t mean we acknowledge the continued demand or impact the tragedy might have on our lives. We maintain the control to stop helping and return to our luxurious lives when we wish. We aren’t just contributing to Sally Struthers’ charity feeding the poor in Ethiopia or a tsunamis ran sacked environment 6000 miles away - we are needed 6 hours / hundreds of miles away. We can’t allow our state lines become a relevant factor because they are not. We can’t allow our precious local economy become the concern because it is not. We cant allow the price per gallon to be the issue, because it is not. The issues is human suffering / people in desperate need.
We may even have to give up some of our comforts!
The opportunities are broad…
The opportunities for prayer, for giving, for assistance, for compassion are unlimited. We must learn that our lives don’t always spin the direction we chose – "CONTROL" is, or should not, always be ours to take or depend on. Weather it is a car accident, a health complication or a natural disaster we all circum at one point or another in our lives to limits and needs. We all must find ourselves dependant on doctors, family members, finical assistance, and support of all types at some point in our lives. To look at any situation of need in judgment of its legitimacy, in judgment of its deservedness, of its pure opportunity to serve is not good enough. We must simply contribute, we must simply care, we must simply reach out, we must simply look within.
We must sometimes make an opportunity to help people in need is the best opportunity our lives have
What humility do we lack?
Looking within ourselves to what our lives thus far have established in your own heart is important to regularly examine. Do we naturally look across the border, across the country at our neighbor and feel called to care? Do we naturally look at our neighbors in need and ask ourselves how we can help? Do we naturally look and a devastated population and immediately pray? Or do we first say how will this affect MY life? How will this impact OUR economy? Why did these people not find a better way to prepare? Why did they not have enough money to get away from the area they lived? Why do I have enough money to watch CNN, check my blackberry, read my e-mails, listen to my voicemails, receive call on my cell phone and they don’t?
Are our maturities inadequate?
We are often so blinded by our own successes, by our own educations, by our own birthright, by our own selfishness. We have allowed the blessing in our lives to create “comfort zones”, we have allowed surviving our own personal tragedies to teach us to distance ourselves from other potential harm, to avoid all types of persecution and risk. While working to avoid harm & devastation are admirable we should not allow this effort to impact our sensitive and compassion for those who find it their time to in harm’s way, and burden with lesser circumstance. They may have missed the boat away from their flooded live, unfortunately we seemed to have often missed the boat on Compassion, humility, and maturity.
Look beyond the way our own lives are impacted.
Don’t govern your generosity allow it to take you away from your comfort zone. Don’t govern your generosity and limit which portion of your lives you will allow to be affected. Our generosity should not be considered “ours” to CONTROL – give your control over to a better purpose than self. Give your control up for the sake of compassion… Give your control over to humility and a life spent sharing…
This crises here on our own soil required us working together not waste time ripping each other apart. This was the case with 9/11 as well…
Let’s not wait for the next natural or unnatural disaster to change the way we live and give.