Heros and Villans
According to Scripture, earth's final events will cause men's hearts to fail as they anticipate the horrific things that are coming upon the earth. Of that time, Jesus said:
|Photo: Craig Toocheck
"It will seem like all hell has broken loose--sun, moon, stars, earth, sea, in an uproar and everyone all over the world in a panic, the wind knocked out of them by the threat of doom, the powers-that-be quaking." Luke 21:25,26 (The Message/Remix)
The delayed efforts to rescue Katrina's trapped victims exposed a much finer line between civility and anarchy than we care to acknowledge. When conditions deteriorate to the point where people are deprived of life's basic necessities, there's no telling what they will do. That's when heros and villains emerge--some to perform God-like deeds of kindness and deliverance, and others to commit Satanic acts of selfishness and cruelty.
A Nightmare Come True
For some, Katrina's aftermath was a nightmare come true. They witnessed suicides, beatings, rapes, robberies and more. Michael Grabell of The Dallas Morning News, said evacuees, "told horrific tales of human suffering in every ballroom and hall of the Morial Convention Center. Of corpses draped in white sheets being pushed on catering carts and loaded into freezers. Of a 13-year-old girl being raped. Of old women having seizures. And of puddles in the carpeting by the Starbucks stand; hot, pitch-dark ballrooms [with] feces in the corner."1
But there were bright spots of hope. When the food stopped coming, Wilfred Johnson, a Jamaican chef with Big Shirley's in the French Quarter, "found frozen food and cooking oil in the convention center's kitchen – and a barbecue pit left behind in the neighborhood. So he decided to feed the masses, especially the children."
"He sauteed chicken in oil, red pepper, and garlic. He marinated ribs, sausages and shish kebabs. The spicy aromas hid the stench inside the center."
"'I'm no hero, man,' said Mr. Johnson, a lean, muscular man with dreadlocks wrapped in a red wool hat and a black coral necklace. 'I'm just trying to cook so we can survive. Everybody is a hero here for surviving.'" 2
Actually, a crisis does not make a person, it only revels who they are. Watching the tragedy unfold on television was like watching a play where every "actor" executed their part which they prepared for before knowing what would happen. Each victim likely responded to the crisis in ways that were consistent with their characters.
In a world of tragey and loss, may God help us be heros of faith and mercy!