Seeing the Good In the Bad

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                          September 10, 2017

 

Natural disasters seem to be frequent headliners these days. Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis…they seem to be as common as a Bronco’s blitz! Carol and I have many friends who have gotten chummy with Hurricane Irma in the past couple of days. We’ve been watching Facebook to make sure each of them is okay. I’ll call a couple of  my friends today to check on them.

Some people see situations such as Irma and the earthquake in Mexico and see only the downside of it. I’m sure there will be several people this week who will equate the rash of recent disasters as evidence of the second coming of Jesus.

I take a different view entirely! Perhaps the ravished areas of the world are an opportunity for people to experience the sharing of their resources, love, and compassion.

I called my friend, David Volitis about a week ago to wish him a happy 60th birthday! We were able to talk for a few minutes, but he told me he was in Corpus Christi helping with the recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey. He had celebrated his 60th birthday by working a fourteen hour day clearing debris. It is an example of the good of people emerging in bad situations.

One of my favorite books is John Ortberg’s Who Is This Man? It tells of the unpredictable impact of Jesus upon the world. Ortberg tells of an epidemic of smallpox that broke out in Rome in AD 165. Between a third and a fourth of the population perished from the disease, including Marcus Aurelius, the emperor. People responded in panic. At the first sign of illness a person was pushed away from their family, throwing them into the street before they were dead. But a community in that city who followed a man who would touch untouchables cared for the sick and dying. They were even willing to be infected by others with the disease in order to be caregivers for the Caregiver. And as a result of their sacrificial giving the Jesus movement spread.

In essence, the way Christians responded to the needs of a community that confounded people’s understanding of the limits of love and sacrifice ended up drawing others towards Jesus.

Any time there is a disaster such as Irma and Harvey people will be confused and devastated. We experienced that a few years ago with two major fires in the Colorado Springs area, Waldo Canyon and Black Forest, that burned down over 800 homes. From that an organization emerged- a coalition of faith-based and secular organizations- that developed a partnership for responding to tragedy. It took two consuming fires to make that happen. Good can come out of bad.

It’s like the story of Jesus’ life and death. Resurrection happened in the midst of the pain of death. It happened with the adulterous woman that Jesus encountered. Forgiveness and cleansing came out of guilt and shame. It came to a boatload of disciples being tossed to and fro in a fishing boat. Jesus woke up and calmed the waters. Peace and assurance came in the midst of a storm.

A number of people in Texas, Florida, and Mexico have lost everything they own…and there will be those who will come alongside them making sure that they will be okay.

Explore posts in the same categories: Bible, children, Christianity, Community, Death, Faith, Freedom, Grace, Jesus, love, Nation, Pastor, Story, Teamwork, The Church, Uncategorized, Youth

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