I've been watching in disbelief as we see the tragic events unfolding in the wake of Katrina. Here is a link to ongoing news. Sadly, I think this blog will be on the web for some time to come.
I urge you to give generously to disaster relief efforts and to do so as soon as you can. I will be donating to the Convoy of Hope. This wonderful relief organization was begun as an Assemblies of God outreach, but it has quickly become transdenominational. I've seen those beautiful semi trucks full of groceries firsthand.
You can donate directly online here.
Dr. Darrell Pursifel from Disert Paths posted the following prayer -- which I found both so sadly beautiful and so straight to-the-point (two descriptions not often found together) that I want to share it here as well:
Prayer in Time of Disaster
God of earthquake, wind, and fire,
tame natural forces that defy control,
or shock us by their fury.
Keep us from calling disaster your justice;
and help us, in good times or in calamity,
to trust your mercy which never ends,
and your power,
which in Jesus Christ stilled storms,
raised the dead,
and put down demonic powers. Amen.
(from the Book of Common Worship [Westminster/John Knox, 1993] 801)
And a small prayer of my own:
Merciful and Gracious God,
I pray for people caught in the misery of this disaster.
Give strength and courage and wiscom to all who are working long hours to help others.
Help your well-meaning but sometimes misguided children, to shine in this dark hour.
Give people of faith words of comfort, strength to help where they can, wisdom to
know when to speak and when to be silent.
Help them to weep with those who weep and yet still find small moments of humor, joy and respite.
Save those who still may be awating rescue, and for those who will not be found in time, grant, I earnestly pray, a grace of exceptional peace and calm.
May overwhelmed hearts and minds turn to you, even in distress and pain, and may you be found by those who seek You.
His mercy endures forever!