Wednesday, December 29, 2004

A time to mourn 

Here's my obligatory tsunami post. I feel stupid writing it, as it's not going to help a single soul who's suffering from this, but if I based my actions on whether they were truly helpful or not, I'd be living my life a lot differently.

Anyway, I was thinking how slowly this disaster has impressed itself on my mind. I first heard of it in church on Sunday morning, when someone prayed for the earthquake victims in Indonesia. I didn't give it much further thought after that, being preoccupied with church politics and the family's continuing Christmas activities. Monday, I started to think more about it all, as I returned to the real world and heard some news broadcasts. I think it was then that I realized that I had aquaintances in the area--I know a missionary family who are serving in India and one of the children we sponsor through Compassion International lives in Thailand. I offered up special prayers for them, and realized that that was the extent of what I could do for them for the time being. Tuesday, I listened to some more news and did a few searches to get some more info on the places that were hit. The news was finally starting to sink in as I felt a bit of depression and concern for all of the victims. Today, I finally started thinking and shot of an e-mail to the family in India and made a contribution for the relief efforts. (Slacktivist had a link to a list of aid agencies. Brillaint idea. Think I'll steal it.)(Of course, I'll assume that the idea of contributing to relief efforts has already occurred to y'all, so I won't nag you about it.)

Today was also a day to ponder the reactions to this crisis. On Monday and Tuesday, Democracy Now! did a good job of covering the event, even though it was apolitical. Of course, they did try and bring global warming into the conversation, but that didn't work too well. (Note to Amy: Earthquakes happen underground. Global warming is mostly an air thing. The only way it affects disasters like this would be if it melted the ice caps and made more water availbale for the tsunami.) I missed most of the broadcasat today, but I think they started to hit on the more political reactions to the disaster. I know that Slacktivist, Pax Nortona and their respective commentors definitely took the Bush administration to task for their response. I would have joined in the chorus, but I also read Sherri's post on the matter and was reminded that my own generosity is nothing to brag about. But in the end, you have to remember that even though the drama is dying down, the disaster endures. There's always a chance to pray another prayer, give a little more, shed another tear or share a bit of hope.