Posted by: Jivani Lisa | May 18, 2011

The Great Flood

“As soon as the seven days were over, the waters of the flood came upon the earth…. it was on that day that all the fountains of the great abyss burst forth, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.”  (Genesis 7:10, 11b)

I don’t usually blog about current events but I’ve been greatly disturbed about the intentional flooding occurring in Mississippi/Louisiana to spare Baton Rouge and New Orleans.  Sure, it makes sense to send the flood waters into areas that are less densely populated, but that doesn’t mean the suffering for affected people is lessened.

Yesterday, while I was walking on the treadmill at the gym, I saw a TV interview with a university professor about the ethics of the intentional flooding.  Her answers were highly intelligent and compassionate at the same time.  She helped me find some peace in this situation.

She said no one should be saying things like, “Well, those people live in a flood plain; they should expect to be flooded.”  We should acknowledge that most of the people who are losing their homes and farms are poor people who couldn’t even afford flood insurance.  Their income goes for the necessities of life: food, shelter and clothing, etc.  They are losing everything.  I believe that people who make such heartless comments about the flood victims are just trying to cover up their own fear and uncertainty about what’s happening.

The professor also said the communities of Baton Rouge and New Orleans have a responsibility to show gratitude to the “sacrificial communities” up river — in a way that’s similar to Americans showing gratitude to members of our Armed Forces who sacrifice their lives for our freedom.  The cities that are spared in this disaster should help to rebuild the towns that are being destroyed.  The people will need money and building materials, of course, but they may also need psychological assistance and other help to rebuild their lives.

Some people feel the flooding must be easier to handle because the victims have received plenty of notice.  I must disagree.  It’s like finding out a loved one has a terminal illness.  Watching “the inevitable” approach is frightening.  Even though we know the person will die, we are not spared the pain and grief.  The flood victims are dealing with a similar pain and grief.

Thousands of our brothers and sisters are suffering in this disaster.  May we remember their sacrifice and do what we can to show our gratitude and help them find solid ground once again.

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