Hi everyone.  Just wanted to let you know that today is going to be a light blogging day – I’m off work (actually been off the last couple of days) and I’ve got some errands to run and also want to get out and enjoy this beautiful weather.  And I’ve got to get away from the news for a bit.  It’s starting to get to me.  I will be back to blogging this evening.  I’ll be around on and off to approve comments, but not to post.  Most likely,  comments that have been submitted after I post this will be approved this evening.

Please don’t forget you can still contribute to the American Red Cross Hurricane 2005 Relief Fund or any one (or more!)  of a number of other great organizations out there mobilizing to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.  If you do contribute, please log it here at the TTLB contribution page as he is tracking the amount of money raised from each blog.  Logging it is totally anonymous – in other words, you don’t have to give a name.  Just an amount, the charity you donated to, and the blog that encouraged you to do so.  Thanks in advance!  From the results there at TTLB, the response has been fantastic – and that’s just logged contributions.  I know there is so much more coming in.  As of this writing, the logged amount is $319,180 – but the unlogged contributions are going to make the total number much higher.  My hat is off to the blogosphere, both readers and bloggers alike, who came together and have united to help out people who really, really need our assistance right now. 

In times like these is when more and more turn to God.  Some pray to Him for guidance.  Others cry out to Him and ask "WHY?".  I’m a subscriber to the Purpose Driven Life daily devotional written by John Fischer, which I receive in email everyday.  Yesterday’s was especially noteworthy in light of the questions we may have for God.  For those who don’t subscribe to it, here it is:

Acts of God; Tears of God
by John Fischer

Hard to think of anything else right now but to feel for the people in the southern United States whose homes and virtual lives lie under feet of water, mud and rubble. My neighbor was out on her porch late last night talking about how she couldn’t stop watching CNN. She knows friends and relatives in or near some of the flooded areas and there’s no way to get through to them. I’m sure that is a very common dilemma right now. It’s hard to pull yourself away because it is so hard to imagine this happening to anybody, much less someone you know. It’s moments like this when we feel so frail and helpless as human beings. We are victims of forces way beyond our control.

In legal terms disasters like this fall under the category: “Acts of God.” Doesn’t bode too well for God’s reputation, does it? Is it that God doesn’t have anything better to do than devastate the lives of hundreds of thousands of people? To some it may seem like that. We call natural disasters “Acts of God” because there is no other way to explain them. I would prefer to believe God is in charge of even things like this, and accept the inconsistencies that come with that belief, rather than live in a world even God can’t control, or worse, where there is no reason for our existence and no one there to hear our silent screams.

One thing we need to remember is that this is the same God who let the world and His human creation go bad, and then turned around and sacrificed His own Son in a brutal death in order to save it. Will we ever understand that? Probably not. But as a result of God’s unique divine/human incarnation, He understands us. He is neither distant nor untouched by our human predicament. Believe me, He’s got His arms around these flood zones right now eager to help and comfort. And just as God suffered over Jesus, His heart is breaking over these losses. Whatever you feel, you can be sure God feels also, and then some. The acts of God include the tears of God. And just as He will ultimately redeem the human race, He will also turn our lives and devastations into good somehow. Life will go on and God will still be God.

Yesterday the governor of Louisiana asked for everyone to spend the day in prayer. That’s where we turn when things like this happen. To have no one there to pray to would be even more devastating.

"[Prayer] would be the best thing to calm our spirits and thank our Lord that we are survivors," said Governor Kathleen Blanco. "Slowly, gradually, we will recover; we will survive; we will rebuild.”