Friday, August 26, 2011
Monsters and Prayers
Parked some place in the depths of cyberspace are several posts I wrote here, years ago, posts that concerned themselves with a giant storm, big as the Gulf itself, a storm about to devour this country's southern coastline, a monster stalking New Orleans. That monster's name was Katrina, and we've still not put the devastation she wreaked behind us.
Now there's another monster stalking the entire Eastern seaboard--North Carolina to Maine. Only God knows where this one will come ashore, and only he knows what kind of havoc she'll leave in her tumultuous wake. As we speak, people are emptying hospitals and old folks' homes, trying to bring the needy to higher ground. New York City, which hasn't seen a hurricane like Irene for fifty years, could take a hit so massive that it could create problems with the entire national economy. Already, some Republicans are saying that not a penny should go to disaster relief unless similar amounts will be cut from already existing expenditures and government programs. That's what some call foresight, I guess.
Maybe some miracle will occur and Ms. Irene will sashay out to sea, saving 55 million people from horror. Wouldn't that be wonderful? Already last night, however, the tone of news and weather programming was pedal-to-the-metal--forecasters weren't mincing words. I'm sure those in the know had no desire to incite panic, but most of those who talked about the storm were not shy about what-ifs. Irene, they said, is going to prove herself no more a lady than Katrina.
Way on the other side of the country, way up in the corner, a good friend is probably awake right now because his wife of 40-some years is fighting off a hostile breed of cancer that generally takes no prisoners. The two of them are among the finest people I know, and the gnawing irresolution inside me this morning, the anxiousness I feel for what they're going through, is itself a killer storm of no less monstrous proportions.
I don't know. Cliches ring like clanging cymbols. It just seems there is so, so much for which to storm the very gates of heaven. So, so much. If only He knows the paths of our lives, why doesn't he do something?--a tweek here, a tweek there and sunshine returns.
For some questions, there are no answers but the one Job heard when all was said and done, I suppose. "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of earth?"
There's equal measures of comfort and flat-out fear in that bare-fisted assertion. God is here and there, and he's been here and there--the I AM--since the beginning of the beginning.
His ways are not ours, but sometimes--like right now, from Cape Hatteras to Seattle--I wish they were.
But they aren't. That I know.
Posted by J. C. Schaap at 6:52 AM