From: Janet Burns
There seems to have been an avalanche of natural disasters in the past few years! Many would say, "It's been going on forever. There's just more news coverage today."¯
As annoying as the repetitious news casting is, maybe it's good when it shakes us up and disturbs us. Does all this sadness and devastation bring us down to earth, to the realization of what's really important? Do the weather catastrophes reveal that there is one greater than us all, a power no human has ever, or will ever have control over?
I listened to CNN as I ate my Friday lunch. I was already in a down mood, due to the blizzard that has many of us snowed in and slowed to a standstill, that unsettling dread that gnaws at a person concerned about neighbors and loved ones out on the treacherous roads.
"The death toll rises to 10 in deadly storms in Alabama,"¯ was flashing across the bottom of the screen. Governor Bob Riley spoke with pained emotion about the destruction of Enterprise, Alabama. His main focus was praise and gratitude to all the town's people who rallied together and the many others who have flooded in to help the tornado-ravaged community.
I turned to another station for escape. There, a young man with bumps and bruises all over his face was torn with emotion as he tried to express what he was going through; the bus he was on with Ohio's Bluffton University's baseball team had just plunged off an Atlanta, Georgia overpass. Six had perished and his brother was critically injured. "We had all been like family,"¯ he said. There is no way to express such shock and pain.
Then the camera focused on the countless hospital and ambulance responders, the gurneys lined up on the side of the highway, tending to the injured-ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
True human nature comes through in situations of tragedy and destruction. It's at these drastic times that human life is counted as the most valuable above things. It's in those instantaneous moments when tragedy strikes that we pray for mercy that human life might be spared. Other losses fade in comparison to the lives.
It's hard to believe that the human race would need such rude awakenings to realize anew how precious the gift of a life is. During the season of Lent, God's greatest gift to man is commemorated"¦but how soon we get caught up in the material world again.
No matter how far we stray from God's love, He will show us the way back. In our need for other people lies our need for Christ. Love is there all along"¦in the best and the worst of all times"¦in our fellow man.