Realities Created, Maintained and Destroyed, WHILE-U-WAIT!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Did You Ever Wonder

Why we get so upset when a natural disaster like the tsunami strikes,

But so many other thing even more horrible don't phase us at all?

Now don't get me wrong, I am all for doing whatever we can to help the victims of our latest natural disaster, for going all out to the people who's lives were crushed under that wall of water.

But at the same time, malaria kills as many people as the tsunami did every month, no one seems to notice.

I remember the first time I saw a malaria death in Africa, a thirteen year old girl, her father was a friend, he was a strong, powerful man. He had fought for his country when Edi Amin invaded it. He worked hard to provide for his family. His daughter's death crushed him just as if it were a tsunami.

There are all these people who were left homeless after the tsunami, and the US pledges $350 million to help them build new homes.

Today I met a woman who lives with her two children in an old Chevy station wagon. How did she get there? Her husband died, the insurance company refused to pay, she had no money for a lawyer , the bills piled up, soon she was on the street.

All around us are people suffering who we turn a blind eye to. People who are hungry, homeless, cold, in pain, we try not to see them. But when there is a disaster far away we are happy to help.

I never could get my mind around that one.

At times like this I think on The Letter of James, the Khalifa of Jesus (as) written to the various Churches of his time.

What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him? 2:15 And if a brother or sister is naked and in lack of daily food, 2:16 and one of you tells them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled;" and yet you didn't give them the things the body needs, what good is it? 2:17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself. 2:18 Yes, a man will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith.

2:19 You believe that God is one. You do well. The demons also believe, and shudder. 2:20 But do you want to know, vain man, that faith apart from works is dead? 2:21 Wasn't Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 2:22 You see that faith worked with his works, and by works faith was perfected; 2:23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness;"* and he was called the friend of God.

2:24 You see then that by works, a man is justified, and not only by faith. 2:25 In like manner wasn't Rahab the prostitute also justified by works, in that she received the messengers, and sent them out another way? 2:26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead.

I try to remember that helping people is not just something we do once in a while, to make ourselves feel good. It is something we should have in mind as an ongoing task.

Or so it seems to me.

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