I wrote a few years ago about compassion fatigue and how sometimes the speed of events and the weird things that happen glommed onto by politicians who never let a crisis go to waste wears us down emotionally and spiritually. Just the last days we had Haiti, Afghanistan, hurricane in New Orleans and now the destruction up and down the Eastern part of the country. I wrote this blog several years ago and it resonates with what is happening now.
I lived and worked for many years not far from the headwaters of the Arkansas River. It starts as a tiny stream from a small picturesque waterfall from runoff of the snow pack on the mountains near the mine where I worked. That was called the Climax Molybdenum Mine and the source of the River is not far from Fremont Pass. It flowed down outside Leadville Co through Buena Vista and Salida and finally off into Oklahoma and Arkansas. That drove some of my friends crazy when I told them that a river that started where I lived would flow to Arkansas and not to New Mexico or Arizona. They could not get the continental divide figured out and neither could I but I knew it went to Arkansas because my best friend lived in Fort Smith. We used to joke that when his grandma had a birthday he was going to send her a cake in a waterproof box by sending it down the river.
The river was a beautiful trout stream where I lived and then it got rowdy going through the gorges as it went south. Once it left Colorado I am not sure what it looked like but it has turned into a beast this week. Snow melt and horrible weather have caused flooding in places that have never flooded before and Arkansas and many of the surrounding states have been hounded by terrible weather and deadly tornados. There is so much stuff going on that we sometimes try and ignore the news just to keep sane. We can also be lured into a kind of compassion fatigue where there is so much need and so many “crisis” that our heads want to explode.
Folks change their minds about prayer all the time. The folks that told us that they were tired of our “damned” prayers when there are school tragedies are now telling us they pray for the President and of course they should. Prayers are important and we as Lutherans remember that God commands us to prayer because of “our own and our neighbors great need”. So pray for the victims of all the terrible things that have happened in the last few weeks and please consider giving to LCMS World Relief and Human Care and LCMS Disaster Response.
Make checks payable to “The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod” with the memo line or a note indicating the gift is for “Disaster Response” or “Hurricane Relief.” Send to:
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
P.O. Box 66861
St. Louis, MO 63166-6861
GIVE BY PHONE:
To make a credit card gift by phone, call the LCMS toll-free gift line between 8 a.m. and 4:10 p.m. Central time at: 888-930-4438