Thursday, September 08, 2005
Wheat and Chaff  

In trying to understand the unbelievable loss of life and property caused by Hurricane Katrina, it seemed to me that there is one thing that is clear--disasters such as this help separate the wheat from the chaff. The fact is that thousands of people were left in dire straits by the storm. The question that this posed to each person was, "What are you going to do about it?"

Some people ignored the whole thing. Some people dragged their feet in responding. Some blamed the people who should have responded for not responding. Others blamed the victims. And then there were some who did something about it to actually help the people who were in such bad shape. Doing something, almost anything was far better than doing nothing or talking as if you were doing something when you were not doing anything at all.

It was horrible to see the footage of people who were stuck in the Superdome and the Convention center. They had been evacuated to a place that had nothing for them. For several days, these folks suffered in horrible conditions without food, water, or medical attention. Beside the misery of living in the hellish conditions in which they were living, it has been reported that rapes, murders, and suicides took place in the Superdome and the Convention center.

I thought about if my wife, our one-year-old daughter, and I were some of the people in the Superdome. What would our prospects be? We do not have food. We do not have water. The air-conditioning and plumbing are not working. The place is filled with people. There are infants and elderly. There are some that are sick. Some are even mentally ill. And these folks do not have any medicine. There is no way to contact anyone outside of where you are. There is no reliable source of information. You do not know how long you will be there. You have no idea if anyone really cares that you are there. What would I do?

After any time without food or water, I would go searching for food and water. You might want to call it looting. I would call it providing the basic necessities because there is no way that I would do nothing and watch my family dehydrate.

Of course, looting is wrong. But you need to put in perspective even what appears to be people simply taking advantage of a situation. Because of the storm, in a matter of hours, people found themselves in an absolutely desperate situation. Even if they were to survive the aftermath of the storm, what are their prospects? Most likely the job they had is gone because the business where they worked has been destroyed. They probably have lost their home or apartment. In other words, they do not have a job, a place to live, or any material goods. So some might have stolen simply because they figured they could use what they stole to get some cash.

And this is what I find the difference to be between what I called the wheat and the chaff. The chaff seems to be more interested in ignoring real needs, being defensive, and condemning people. For some reason, the magnitude of the situation which was presented by the hurricane victims just does not impact them. Although they might do something, when you really look at them, the chaff is not very interested in actually helping people to have their needs met.

The wheat is actually interested in helping people out. They talk about the problem and the people who need help. Then they pitch in and figure out a way to meet people's needs. They grasp the situation and act. They put things in context because they are really trying to view things from a personal point of view because people are truly important and they must be helped.

It is not so important what the wheat's motivation is. A person's motivation is more often than not simply God's business. The fact is that for whatever reason, food and water were being supplied by the wheat. At the end of the day, I thank God for the wheat because without wheat, you can not have your daily bread.
for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. Matthew 25:35-36

Posted by David at 3:00 AM  |  Comments (1)  | 

1 Comments:

Very, very well said.

By Anonymous BP, at September 11, 2005 8:28 PM  

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