Monday, September 05, 2005

Five Dollars for Lemmonade?

Well, prices are up all around the country. Since moving to northern California I've seen some big prices. About a month ago I paid $13 for a bag of charcoal! It's made of dirt!!! Doesn't seem fair. I know that with Hurricane Katrina gas prices are beyond ludicrous. Well, just fyi, I've been paying over $2.00 a gallon for about six years now. But today I reached a new pinnacle--$5 for a glass of lemmonade.

It wasn't at a concert and it wasn't at SBC Park or the Oakland Arena. It was right here just off of Paradise Drive. Two girls were standing on two large boulders with neon signs, "Lemmonade to Help Hurricane Victims -------->" Those girls had been out there for hours yelling for the passers by to please help. I like stuff like that. As a matter of fact, it's quite easy for me to get choked up at stuff like that. So after my work out (I recently joined a gym--more on that some other time) I headed back to my house and saw those girls waving the signs and screaming; I pulled in. They were more than appreciative. I rolled down my window and asked the price--$2. I looked in my wallet and I had some ones and then I saw a five.

I love this country and I love to see how in such circumstances children have talked with their parents, "What can we do for them?"

"Why don't you/we sell lemmonade?"

Such simplicity. Such mutual concern. God does bless the USA and we should bless others.

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Ethics of Looting

Man, I cannot get the images and stories out of my mind. The images from the Gulf Coast keep pouring in and I watch, listen and weep. I just want to make a few quick statements and I'll let you get back to some of your important things.

I would "loot." "Loot" in some of the instances I see means scavenging for food, batteries and necessities. I would not go looking for appliances and such. At first I was amazed that people could do such things, but then I began thinking what I would do if I was in their soggy shoes. If I had kids who needed diapers, dry blankets, baby food; I would loot. If I had a relative who was sick and had a vacostomy bag strapped to their side; I would loot for medical kits and disinfectants. IF I had a wife who was hurt, hungry or needing something dire, yes, even tampons, I would loot.

You know that expression, in hell or high water, well, the Gulf Coast has had both at once. Before I many of us get to thinking that we are better than others let us stop to think--who's going to come down and open the grocery story so I can buy the fruit that's going to rot in a few days anyway? Who's going to come down and unlock the doors so I can buy Power Bars or clean water?

Once again, I don't think it is quite necessary to have televisions right now. There is no electricity. Radios, maybe, because they are battery operated and could give some very valuable information. It's easy to castigate, but I'm not the one who had to saw a hole into my roof to escape the waters that some of my family members couldn't escape.

Let's pray and give, pray and give.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

A Prayer for the Gulf Coast

God, you search the earth for hearts that would bow down and for heads you could lift, we pray that you, now, in your auspicious and gracious ways, would encourage the people along the Gulf Coast who have seen devastation that many of us can barely stand to watch on television. May your peace move them toward charity, equity, patience and hope. Help the invalid, the angry, the escaped, the refugees and all of those who are trying to help. May August 31 not remain for them a day of despair, but a day when deliverance was sent from you. Amen.

A few weeks back I performed a beach wedding for Mitzi and Carl at Stinson Beach. It was all very charming and pretty: scenery, people, words, and the photos. I love marriage. I would recommend it to many, if not all I meet. I also love weddings. I get teary thinking about it--standing in front of a couple who is starting a step together. Much of life for some of us is about walking some stretches of road by ourselves--just walking closer to the destination, God. It's a very moving experience when you look across the lane from you and someone who is very beautiful, kind and dedicated is walking the same way, so you join up together. And the more you walk toward the destination the closer you get to one another. Very moving.
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