Even if your life revolves entirely around the small screen, the computer screen, it would take some rather selective reading to not have known about this morning’s royal wedding. But I suggest that it would be possible to have entirely missed the devastation that weather brought to many U.S. states in the last 48 hours.
The computer has no equivalent of, “We interrupt this program;” or “We interrupt this broadcast.” Unlike your cell phone, which depending on where you live can broadcast amber alerts in the event of an abducted child, your computer internet connection has no similar features although it might in the future, no capacity — unless you program alerts — to inform you of breaking news.
The events of this week in the U.S. included a period where there were 164 tornadoes in 24 hours. Some have called it a “hundred year” weather situation; a term also used months ago to describe flooding in Tennessee. As I wrote yesterday at Christianity 201, God may have promised not to ever flood the whole earth again, but the promise is not explicit concerning hurricanes, tornadoes or localized flooding.
Was God’s promise an across-the-board promise not to use weather to bring judgment, or does it only apply to global flooding?
I’m not even sure that’s the right question. I’m not sure questions are the right response. I’m also acutely aware that anything I write here stands the risk or stands the test of being read by family of people who have lost homes, possessions and even loved ones.
Instead, my mind went to the liturgical phrase, kyrie eleison, Lord have mercy. As I researched this phrase both in religious websites and in blogs, it occurred to me that this is the phrase we can say when there is nothing left to say. It is the phrase voiced by desperate people in desperate times.
These are troubled times for many people this morning, both those reeling from earlier midwest flooding and those dealing with the loss of entire neighborhoods from this week’s tornadoes. Lives have been lost and homes and businesses have been destroyed. Christ followers — like everyone else — should be aware of the times, but in order to do so, we have to be careful that our daily internet routine includes some news feeds, or else our awareness of the broader world becomes selective: Focused on soft news like royal weddings, but missing vital events such as this week’s weather events. Were you aware of all that took place in the last 48 hours?
We now return you to our regular programming.