Spills and... No... Thrills!
As the floor of the Gulf of Mexico continues to spew oil, people from Louisiana to Florida brace for what could be one of the worst environmental catastrophes in history. No one knows for sure what the real impact will be, because so many factors remain variables. Needless to say, the potential impact for our community is profound, if, Heaven forbid, the worst case scenarios come to pass.
But, let me tell you about another "catastrophe" that is getting much less news coverage, but might even affect our lives more substantially.
Did you know that there are over 1,200 children who attend the Santa Rosa County School District who are also homeless. Yes, you heard me.... HOMELESS!
These are not your usual suspects. For the most parts, their parents are doing everything they know to do. Most have jobs, most had goals and ambitions, most were living the American Dream until the housing market turned against them and they found themselves in the streets.
In fact, one of our pastors at GBUMC found a homeless family with small children living in a park not far from our Fairpoint Campus. It was eye opening, not to mention humbling and indicting of who we, as the Body of Christ, claim to be.
We talk about tsunamis, hurricanes, oil spills and are horrified by the implications of what these "acts of God" might mean for our community and livlihoods.
But, I promise you that if tomorrow, every home in Plantation Hill subdivision (a large nice subdivision in Gulf Breeze, Florida) were to burn to the ground leaving each family homeless, there would be "drives" and relief efforts immediately. People would make it a point to respond and to come together as the Body of Christ.. But, there are more homeless families in Santa Rosa County to fill more than 10 subdivisions like Plantation Hill.
What is our indictment here? Acts of God are one thing, but what about "Acts of Humanity" whereby the best of what we should be is drowned out by the worst of what we are.
This week, please pray for all of the "catastrophes" in our lives--- natural and man made. We don't need an oil spill to talk about the fragile nature of humanity. We don't need a hurricane to remind us of how vulnerable we truly are. We only need look at a make shift campsite in Shoreline park and be reminded that a family slept there, not for a camping trip, but because they "had no place to lay their heads".
Sound familiar... of course, it does. NO one likes the part of the story where happy endings are impossible to fathom much less find, and where hope becomes a commodity too rich for many to afford.
We have much to pray about today. Begin from the ground up... from the hearts of young students attending our schools knowing they have no home... to the geologist who will move into our community, leaving his family for a year because of a hole in the ocean floor. In both cases, we are called to be the "hands and feet of Jesus". Nothing less will do.
Be Salt and Light, my friends...