Sunday, September 04, 2005


Man Cries in Church

My friend wept in church today.

The pastor showed the congregation a few images from Katrina's aftermath, projected onto a screen. Music played, and the choir director sang a song about need "Not Far Away."

My friend, the liturgist, got up to read today's Scripture. His voice hesitating, eyes full of tears, he managed to keep his composure until he finished. Most of the rest of us also had tears in our eyes. He then left the altar.

The King James version of the passage:

How deserted lies the city,
once so full of people!
How like a widow is she,
who once was great among the nations!
She who was queen among the provinces
has now become a slave.

2 Bitterly she weeps at night,
tears are upon her cheeks.
Among all her lovers
there is none to comfort her.
All her friends have betrayed her;
they have become her enemies.

Lamentations 1.

Pastor Jim said words to the effect, "We call natural disasters acts of God. But they are not acts of God. When you open your heart, when you give to one in need, that is an act of God."

We made a special offering today for the survivors of Katrina. Some of us have opened our homes. UMCOR asked for donations of specific supplies, so my wife and children went out and purchased what they could find. Many stores, here in Kansas, have already been stripped bare of the supplies asked for.

Our hearts ache as we helplessly watch wave after wave of suffering.

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