Is it just me, or is anyone else out there getting depressed reading the news? I say "reading" because most of the news I get from the U.S. is from reading on the Internet. Thousands are homeless and devastated by hurricane Ike, Wall Street is plunging, taxpayers are bailing out financial institutions, and they say there is more bad news to come.
People are looking to the upcoming elections for solutions. Guess what?.... No matter who gets elected to office, they will not be able to solve our nation's problems.
Here in the Canary Islands, people are complaining about how difficult it is for them too. Many are struggling to make ends meet. People are scared--not sure what the future will bring. There is a multitude of immigrants who come to the Canary Islands from Western Africa, fleeing in small, crowded boats--risking their lives--in hopes of finding a better place to live and work, only to get here and find it difficult to obtain employment. There are also large numbers from Romania, South America, and Cuba. Our Wednesday night prayer meeting is filled with requests for people to find jobs.
Our church is across the street from a government operated city mission for homeless people. We have had opportunity to minister to many of them. I tend to be rather critical and judgemental, (unlike my husband, so fortunately we balance each other out) having preconceived ideas and stereo-types of what these people are like, that they don't really want to work, and that their self destructive behaviors of drug and alcohol abuse, and character issues have put them in this situation. I am sure there is an element of truth to my observations in some of the cases.
Then I watched video clips of the destruction caused by hurricane Ike. Many lost everything they owned, and can not return to the community where they lived. Many will have no way to work, and will start the painful process of rebuilding their lives. That is when it struck me that but by the grace of God, I could be in any of their shoes. It really made me rethink this homeless issue in a new light. I need to quit being so full of pride, (thinking it could never happen to me) and be more thankful for the provision that God has made for me, and not take it for granted. God is also showing me that I need more compassion. It is so easy to get hard and cold when you see so many in need. After all, we that know the Lord need to show others how we can trust Him in these uncertain times.