Saturday, September 03, 2005

Drawing Distinctions

I never really understood the fine distinction between 'throw' and 'drop', until today. I told my 2-year-old daughter that she was not to throw something. Moments later, upon looking again, I see her project the item across the room ... while saying 'drop' to clarify what she was doing.



Friday, September 02, 2005

3 Dead Snakes and a Billy Goat

Walking down the hall today there were 3 guys standing in the hallway, having a conversation. I didn't know them, and didn't hear what they were saying, except for one phrase. Just as I passed by, one of them said 'Just three dead snakes and a billy goat.'

Having passed them at this point, I wondered if it was the punchline to a joke, but I didn't hear any of them laugh. Turning the corner, none of them looked particularly tickled, nor did they look bothered about anything.

So what did it mean? I may never know.

Katrina. I wonder if that name will continue to be used -- for newborn babies -- as it has been.

You know, when the Tsunami occurred on the other side of the world, it was morbidly fascinating, but in the end it seemed like some other galaxy.

But Katrina practically happened next-door. My wife and I know people who live in Long Beach, MS; brothers and sisters in Christ who have had us in their home; people who have not been back yet since the pre-hurricane evacuation, but who do not expect to find much left of their homes when they return.

I tried on my way home yesterday to imagine what that would be like. My home destroyed. Keepsakes and treasures, and just things I took for granted, gone. I can't go far down that path, even in my mind. Its not real. It can't be. And let's not even get into the what if's about spouses and children dying.

But for those of us who can see the devastation but aren't directly involved, there's a danger as well. In our process of empathy and, inevitably, analysis, we must be careful where we choose to see God in this. You see, I just heard someone say that 'you know, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, too -- and New Orleans was sin city if there ever was one.'

I have to say that this kind of comment makes me really uneasy. I know that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because he told us that's what he did, and he told us why; I haven't heard from God on this one, and until God decides to tell us so, I'm pretty sure he doesn't need us to speak on his behalf.

So as far as trying to find meaning in this, trying to find the root cause -- all I can say is, 3 dead snakes and a billy goat.