I posted this a few days ago on the Emergent Houston blog.
It’s amazing what you don’t care about when something as shocking and amazing as Hurricane Katrina happens. Just a few weeks ago, the news was filled to overflowing with Cindy Sheehan’s campout/protest at Crawford, TX and her bus ride to Washington, D.C. You have to look hard to find any news about that right now. Katrina has stolen everyones headlines.
Every so often something happens–something out of the ordinary; something so magnificently terrible that the moment defies words. It’s not that people don’t try though. Just flipping on CNN, MSNBC, or FOX News will let you know that people can throw around words.
Interestingly, so many of those words have been about blame. “Where was the aid? What took FEMA so long? George Bush doesn’t care about black people! The local mayor and Governor wasn’t prepared” On and on it goes.
The real blame belongs to me–and people like me. People who are too busy with their own jobs, families, interests and pursuits to notice people in desperate physical need. As I watch TV and visit with evacuees here in Houston, I’m struck–not so much with the level of need they now have–with the level of need they had BEFORE Katrina. I’m embarrassed that it took Katrina before I went through my closet to see what I no longer wear, or look through my wallet to find what was excess. What went wrong in my own spiritual formation to be so busy with ministry that I have forgotten to help people?
My prayer is that through this horrific happening God will raise up in me and His church an awareness if the least of these. May God so invade our hearts that when we see people without the basic necessities of life that we would be so moved as to take the blame.