Thursday, June 13, 2013

Moore Focused, Moore Thankful, and Moore Faithful

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. James 4:13-16
Volunteers of all ages from the Keller church of Christ traveled to Moore, Oklahoma, to assist with disaster relief efforts there.
      Some events in life have a way of bringing God's Word and biblical principles into amazing clarity. What we have read, believed, and shared with others, we suddenly see as never before. The F5 tornadoes that hit Moore, Oklahoma, on May 20, 2013 - and their aftermath - opened many eyes and hearts, including mine, to important truths.
      Brevity and uncertainty. Sixteen minutes. That's all the time people had, from the warning until the destruction. What would I have done? Whom would I have called? Where would I have gone? What would I have tried to take? Life really is a vapor (James 4). Tomorrow may never come. I may not be here. The city I had planned to visit may not even exist anymore.
      Love and forgiveness. Today is too precious and too short - and people matter too much - for me to withhold love or to hold a grudge. I must express my love, and erase the wrongs of others against me, before the sun goes down (Eph 4:26). It may not rise again. If I am suddenly thrust into eternity, I want to leave this earth with a clean slate, and with the people in my life knowing that I truly cared.
      Good and evil. Bad things don't just happen to the so-called "worst" of sinners or to strangers far away. Tornadoes level the houses in one town but not another. Structures on one side of the street are razed while the other side remains untouched. Instead of asking questions we cannot answer, we should hear Jesus say, "Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:1-5). 
      Pain and healing. Jesus talked so much about the homeless, the hurting, and the helpless. His words about the sheep and the goats (Matt 25), and the Good Samaritan (Luke 10), challenge us to go and to serve. When we help with a cause like this, we feel assured that we are showing the compassion and kindness that Jesus taught and that He expects of us.
      Seen and unseen. Visible things are temporary; invisible things are eternal (2 Cor 4:16-18). Yet the visible things appear so permanent, so strong, so worthy of our time and effort. In Moore, OK, all kinds of "stuff" was either gone, displaced, or piled up in heaps. Yet the unseen realities remained: faith, hope, and love.
      Faith and despair. One could not number the religious organizations that sent teams, collected supplies, served meals, and helped the needy. It was easy to count the atheist groups represented; there were none. Some unbelievers claim, "People can be good without God." Really?
      Money and motivation. Because we are made in the image of God, we innately desire to share, to give, and to save. We derive a level of satisfaction from unpaid acts of kindness that financial compensation cannot match. Such a powerful drive, and such fantastic endorphins, cannot be explained by godless evolution and its "survival of the fittest."
      One and many. It's so rewarding to see fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, teens and adults, little kids and big kids, married people and singles, all working together in harmony, patience, and joy. In a day when there is such emphasis on the individual, the "army of one," we are reminded that two are better than one and that a cord of three strands is not easily broken (Ecc 4:9-12).
      Signs and symbols. In the debris in Moore, OK, one could see so many small, displaced items of great - or not so great - significance. There was a string of tickets to who knows what, that would never be used. There was a single jigsaw puzzle piece; perhaps it was the missing one, buried under the couch cushion. There was a stuffed teddy bear, soft but dirty, no longer able to comfort a small child. There was a pepper shaker, in the shape of a maple leaf, without its companion. There was a small Lego piece, and a large Lego piece, that could not fit together. There was a plastic wheel, about eight inches in diameter, detached from anything it may have once rolled. All of it makes one wonder what values we attach to material objects, and why, and what we would do if we lost them.
Because of Moore, Oklahoma, I'm asking God to help me be
Moore focused, Moore thankful, and Moore faithful.
To comment and/or to receive notices of future blog posts, please email[AT]gmail[.com]. God bless.
Cory Collins

1 comment:

henry kong said...

insightful as usual - henry