Playing the Katrina blame game | VailDaily.com

Playing the Katrina blame game

Gary Wingo

Katrina was called “The perfect storm … a storm of biblical proportions.” What does that mean? Taking a look in the Bible, I found that events of biblical proportions include everything from the parting of the Red Sea and Egyptian Plagues to personal devastation resulting from poor choices. In each case, the “biblical-proportioned” event overwhelmed people and caused them either to turn to God for help or react with anger and blame. Katrina has, in biblical terms, been a storm of overwhelming consequences, far outpacing what we thought imaginable. The catastrophe has brought out the best and worst in people. In the aftermath, politicians, reporters, and certain victims are playing the absurd “blame game.”I am fed up with the pundits who focus on the negative stories. The only thing these “finger-pointers” do is seek to place blame instead of seeking the truth. Jesus addressed these sorts of people in the book of Matthew: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. In the same way you judge others, you will be judged. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own?” Matthew 7:1-3.God’s Son is telling us that there is only one judge, and none of us is him! Instead of criticizing, let’s draw attention to all the brave people of the Red Cross, the National Guard, Christian organizations and individuals who’ve put their lives on the line to help those devastated by Katrina. I’ve watched the news in the aftermath and have found that many news organizations concentrate on who shares the blame. Concurrently, however, one TV station decided to report the tragedy quite differently. This news group looked at the positive stories of rescue and how the American people have united. Reporting how our soldiers quelled criminals, they shared with us heroic storm stories. And yes, they did report that we must know the truth about how this devastation occurred.If you’re like me, I learn better and respond well to positive, encouraging truth instead of negative, harsh, judgmental opinion. Of course we must ask the hard questions. There is plenty of responsibility to go around. But rather than accuse, we need to get to the heart of the matter: – Let’s be honest about this situation. The Bible says, “Speaking the truth in love, we will all grow up … ,” Ephesians 4:15. Why not speak truth with compassion? At times like these, we need love!2. I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” The aftermath of Katrina has exposed blatant “unrighteousness.” We must understand the freedom that comes with confessing mistakes and seek new ways to move forward with honesty.3. As in all tragedies, we can find hope, solace and comfort in the Lord who loves us. Look at Psalm 91: “God is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust … . He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; God’s faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” What a great opportunity for all of us to turn to God with a humble heart seeking his wisdom and help!4. Lastly, “Let’s consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let’s encourage one another,” Hebrews 10:24, 25b. Encouragement is far more powerful than judgment.In ways such as contacting our elected officials and encouraging them to seek authenticity as they lead in this crisis, we can stand together in faith under God, taking action with hearts of compassion, minds centered on truth and spirits of generosity. Then the New Testament’s encouragement will become reality for us – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” Philippians 4:7.Gary Wingo leads the Seekers Fellowship, currently on a seasonal break.Vail, Colorado