Friday, September 12, 2008

Here we go again . . .

I don't want to make light of what is happening right now or what is to come later to our brothers and sisters to the East of us with Ike . . . I am praying for their safety
Yesterday as I was leaving the church for a hospital visit the winds were whipping up . . . the sky was dark . . . after the visit I am barely out of the parking lot when the heavens opens and the rains come . . . they come hard. Later at Bible Study I learn that school is cancelled for Friday . . . "we're expecting flooding tomorrow" I am told . . . I get a lesson in our pumping system . . . even with heavy rains I have a pool outside my back door . . . only once has it threatened my floors . . . across the Lake I am hearing that there is 7 feet of water already in streets . . . houses there are on stilts . . . this is just the start of the rising waters that Ike is bringing to this area . . . what must it be like in TX? God have mercy.
This morning I woke to the tornado warning . . . I have been up only an hour (day off, sermon done!) and the warning has gone off twice . . . I have my chair in the hall, just in case I hear a train. During Camille (1969) my family stayed at home . . . stupid . . . at one point I asked my Daddy . . . "Daddy, why are the trains running?" . . . "Honey, those aren't trains those are tornadoes." . . . so I am listening for trains . . . FLASH: Highway 90 (26 miles) in South MS from Ocean Springs to Bay St. Louis is closed as water is rising over the highway. God have mercy.
My mother has asked me . . . ministers get these questions . . . as if we have all the answers! . . . "why is all of this happening?" . . . I interpret her question -- "why does God allow this to happen?" . . . how many folks have this question roaming in their heads and spirits? . . . I remind my Mom of what she and my Dad told me about Camille . . . God didn't cause Camille to happen . . . and I remember the conversation I had with my theology professor about this years later . . . "yes, Lydia, God didn't cause Camille but God is responsible as God made nature to work as it works." But now I wonder . . . have we don't something to interfere with God's good creation . . . air pollution, misuse/abuse of the earth, over grazing, coastal erosion, on and on and on. God have mercy.
"God created man in his image, male and female he created them. He blessed them, and said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth. I give you the green plants and every fruit-bearing tree for food.' God looked upon all that he had made, and he saw that it was good." Genesis 1: 27-31
Almighty God, we thank You for calling us to be stewards of the earth. You have made the earth our dwelling place for a while. You fill it with great beauty to remind us that it is Yours. It overflows with bountiful gifts to sustain us and to gladden our hearts.
Yet, we have misused this gift, treating it as if there were nothing we could do to harm it. We see that our misunderstanding of what it means to be good stewards has lead us to neglect this gift you have given us. O God, help us learn to use the earth wisely, to treat it with loving care, to be good stewards for the time we are here. Help us understand that how we treat the earth has real consequences not only for us, but for the generatioins to come. Amen.

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