Many of you may or may not know that I reside in Louisiana. Well, the flood here has been severe, and watching the reaction to it has brought my thoughts in several directions.
First, I am absolutely floored by how well locals have coordinated and come together to help. The stories of valor are countless, with many people risking life and property for the sake of total strangers. In a Summer of American unrest, the people here have truly been “a city on a hill”, for the rest of the world to see what Jesus meant when He said, “love your neighbor as yourself”.
Second, it is my prayer that Baton Rouge, in particular, experience healing from this devastation. Just a few months ago, I had no idea how they would ever resolve the conflict between civilians and police officers there. Though it may not be worth the price it took – loss of life, business, and property – there is now an opportunity to soften the relations. Civilians and police have been forced to unite for survival, and police, being first responders, have a chance to be heroes again. I don’t know for sure that this will change things forever, but I’m asking everyone, please lift them up in prayer, that this calamity might be the start of true peace.
Third, I have become so conscious of how many petty thoughts disappear when there is a need for survival. God “sends rain on the just and on the unjust too”, and people I might have disregarded otherwise have now become human to me. As people look for lost family members, so many of the photos they are circulating are just whatever image they could get off their phone the fastest. Thus, images of people unkempt, or stoned, or showing off some dumb-looking tattoo, are a lot of what’s going around. These are pictures that, at a better time, I might have been tempted to write a meme about, but the catastrophe has made them significant to me. Suddenly they are someone I need to spread the word about, I need to make sure they’re safe, found, and whole. God, what a good world it would be if I could make myself care this same way about people when there wasn’t a disaster around.
God bless everyone, and keep the prayers coming. Louisiana Strong.
James 2:8-9 and Matthew 22:37-40
Peacewithgod.net – a free prayer service and description of salvation
Biblegateway.com – a free online Bible