Thinking Out Loud

April 19, 2013

We Sure Could Use A Little Good News Today

Filed under: current events, media — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:18 am

” When sorrows come – they come not single spies – but in battalions ”
~ William Shakespeare, Hamlet Act IV, Scene V

Brian Williams NBC Nightly NewsEvery night at 6:30 PM I watch the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. I became a convert about five years ago after decades of watching ABC World News Tonight starting in the days Peter Jennings anchored.

You’re just as likely to catch Brian Williams guesting on The Office or SNL as you are to see him hosting the news. While he delivers the hard news with total professionalism, he’s also at his best doing the soft news stories, especially if they involve dogs, or better, puppies. He knows that television news is largely infotainment, but lately, the headlines he’s forced to read haven’t exactly been kind.

The United States has been taking a beating lately. Even in the wake of the tragedy in Boston, you see a disastrous day for airline travel as a major carrier’s computer software crashes. You see extreme weather in Illinois including floods and sinkholes. You see the devastating explosion in a fertilizer factory in Texas. You see enough sorrow and sadness that for several days, both North Africa and North Korea are forced off the broadcast schedule.

In weeks like this I’m always drawn back to the lyrics of A Little Good News, a classic song by Anne Murray.  Here’s the second half of the lyrics:

I’ll come home this evenin’
I’ll bet that the news will be the same
Somebody takes a hostage, somebody steals a plane
How I wanna hear the anchor man talk about a county fair
And how we cleaned up the air,
How everybody learned to care.

Tell me
Nobody was assassinated in the whole Third World today
And in the streets of Ireland, all the children had to do was play
And everybody loves everybody in the good old USA
We sure could use a little good news today

Whoa, tell me
Nobody robbed a liquor store on the lower part of town
Nobody OD’ed, nobody burned a single building down
Nobody fired a shot in anger, nobody had to die in vain
We sure could use a little good news today

But then I’m reminded of another classic song, by The Chi-Lites (also covered by Christian group The Imperials) There Will Never Be Any Peace Until God is Seated at the Conference Table. (How did they get all that on the record label?) The song begins:

Men are runnin’ from land to land
Tryin’ to make things alright
Holding meeting after meeting, constantly reaching
For what they maybe thinking is right

Everybody has a plan
Ain’t that just a man
People can’t you understand?
We gotta tell ‘em

There will never be any peace
Until God is seated at the conference table

I can’t promise Brian Williams puppy-filled scripts. I think we see the trend; we see where the world is going. But I do sincerely, earnestly wish my American brothers and sisters a little good news. Soon.

Matthew 24:7 (NLT)

Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world.

Mark 13:8 (CEB)

Nations and kingdoms will fight against each other, and there will be earthquakes and famines in all sorts of places. These things are just the beginning of the sufferings associated with the end.

Luke 21:10  (MSG)

10-11 He went on, “Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Huge earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. You’ll think at times that the very sky is falling.

November 1, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: The Unheard Story

Today’s guest post is by Ruth, aka Mrs. W., the better writer in the family.

Hurricane Sandy came ashore.

Dozens dead. More dozens missing. Thousands homeless. Damage and repair costs in the hundreds of millions. Transportation crippled. Livelihoods destroyed or at risk. Infrastructure wiped out. Government in crisis. A population of in the range of 10,000,000 souls thrown into chaos once again, while still in recovery, still living with the ghosts of that earlier devastating hit.

Hurricane Sandy’s ‘hype’ has given way to the reality of trying to clean up the mess and put lives back together.

Oh, sorry. Did you think I meant New York?

Haiti and neighbors such as Cuba and The Dominican have been ploughed under yet again. And yet again they’re stumbling to their feet, shaking the mud out of their hair and looking around, wondering what the heck happened. The images are horrific. The statistics are numbing.

Most American and Canadian news coverage in the last few days has been focused so close to home that we’ve heard little about the three day drenching that has damaged more than 70 percent of Haiti’s food supply and created fears of a cholera epidemic like the one after the great earthquake. The epidemic that killed 7,000 people.

The poor are getting poorer.

New York has suffered a terrible blow. They have lost good and beloved people. Homes. Businesses. Entire neighborhoods. It’s easy to look at the pictures online of a damaged roller coaster and a yacht on the train tracks and forget that our friends to the south are genuinely suffering far more than just inconvenience. They are grieving and wondering how to rebuild.

But, like we in Canada, they are among the wealthiest people in the world. The poorest American is richer than the bulk of the people in other parts of the world. We have resources and forces and systems in place that are effective and well trained. Haitians have no such reservoir to draw from.

It’s time to look further than the six o’clock news and see the need that is born out of need. Lack upon lack. New York will take time to put things together again. Haiti doesn’t have that luxury.

New York needs our prayers and encouragement. Haiti needs our support. Food, medicine, building supplies. Find out how you can help.

~ Ruth Wilkinson

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