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Showing posts from September, 2005
In the first centuries of Christianity the hungry were fed at a personal sacrifice, the naked were clothed at a personal sacrifice, the homeless were sheltered at a personal sacrifice... And the pagans used to say about the Christians, "See how they love each other." In our own day the poor are no longer fed, clothed, and sheltered at a personal sacrifice, but at the expense of the taxpayers. And because of this the pagans say about the Christians, "See how they pass the buck."
- Peter Maurin (via Steven McEvoy)

the simple life

Rawah Wilderness, Roosevelt National Forest, some peak, originally uploaded by justinw. life is too complicated. every once and awhile ya need to cut loose all of your webbing and just go somewhere and focus your efforts on plain 'ol survival. no more, no less.

I have a confession to make.

I didn't want to go to Louisiana.

Almost immediately after it was clear how many people were displaced, Dave became a man with a mission. He was going down there no matter what, if the means could be achieved. He worked like a madman to achieve those means, and did succeed in 1) finding a truck, 2) finding stuff to put in the truck, and 3) finding someone to deliver it to.

As he was beginning this mission, I gave it a few minutes of thought and then let him know that I would attempt to join him if he needed me. As the days passed, I became aware of how crucial my support was becoming. But also as the days passed, I grew more uneasy of making the committment and actually making it happen. In recent years, I have become very purposeful/deliberate with my decisions, trying to make the most efficient use of my resources. I worried that going down there was a rash decision, made on the spur of a moment, with little critical thought given to whether this was a wise use of time and…

Hurricane Katrina never counted on Baton Rouge

[post-game analysis will beprovided in a later post. here be raw details, apologies for the length.]

Thursday 9/8

Left work at about 4:30, biked home, packed for the weekend, bringing enough food/shelter to basically camp out for the weekend if need be. Dave picked me up at 6:30, drove to PJ Anderson's house, he used to be a coworker and is now a youth minister for St. John's parish Hammond, IN. He had gotten us a discount ($700 instead of $1,100) on a 17 foot U-Haul one-way rental to Baton Rouge. PJ was there with a group of people receiving donated items from parishioners - food, clothing, toiletries, even a couple boxes of medical supplies including blood sugar level monitors - and working on packing everything into boxes, sealing, labeling, and filling the truck. Items were continuing to arrive as we packed; we finished up around 9:30, with the truck about 3/4 full. We met PJ's Dad, took a picture of everything before closing it up, and then dropped PJ off at his …

What kind of people are we, anyway?

The debates will rage on through the centuries, whether we human beings are naturally good at heart or naturally self-preservatory. The mainstream media has given us one picture to imagine of the region affected by Hurricane Katrina. "If it bleeds, it leads." On a personal level, however, I suspect that we've all lost track of the number of times we've heard, "What can we do?", "I wish there was something I could do!"

If there's one thing the bloody media has shown us, it's the realization that when we are presented with images of horror, we generally feel a fundamental compulsion to fix things and to give freely of ourselves to others.

The community that I grew up in took quite some time to realize this as fully as it has in recent years. For a long time, it was a community of worship and mutual service. One area that it seemed to suffer was in retaining young adults who had been brought up in it. Other interests overtook these yout…


so far i've donated a couple bucks to the Red Cross and to a local charity, but my heart's breaking watching the coverage. i'm not sure what else to do besides prayer.

and, another thing going on inside me, is the realization that this disaster is a macrocosm of something that happens every day in my life: people in pain. when it's my neighbor or my co-worker or whomever who has a "hurricane event", am i as eager to help them as i am to help the people i see on the tv screen right now? i'm not sure, i hope so... in any case, i feel like a discussion here can offer us all creative means for helping people experiencing hurricanes both large and small.

It's so easy to look at this and see it as HUGE and to look at the "smaller" problems people face every day. In reality, however, those "smaller" problems, to those who are enduring them may well be, to them, just as huge as this hurricane is.


(PS - just received a few people pics from t…