Friday, August 31, 2007

What's News?

While watching Weather Channel coverage of Hurricane Dean, the first major hurricane of the Atlantic storm season, I paused for a heart check. The storm had just swept through the Caribbean, killing 13, and was heading for the Yucatan peninsula. The meterologists were girding for the worst: a potentially devastating swipe at Mexico with the possibility of some weakening then rejuvenation of the hurricane's force as it trajected, possibly, toward America's Gulf Coast region. As it turns out, the storm's course took it through less densely populated areas of Mexico and spared the U.S. the brunt of its force.

So, I'm sitting there watching the Weather Channel. People are dying in the Caribbean... Mexico looks to be potentially ravaged... but my interest and my heart on this story are where? On 1) Texas, 2) Florida, 3) Louisiana. The same place, I might add, that the weather forecaster keeps focusing. Why? Because he is an American reporting the story to a primary audience of other Americans, like me.

OK, I know no one currently living in the Caribbean or Mexico. I wish I could say that I know, like, hundreds of people in the Gulf Coast. I think I know maybe three. So why does my heart go pitter patter for my countrymen while I scarcely register a pulse for someone else's countrymen?

Is my nationalist heart consistent with my faith? I mean, people are people, right? So why am I more concerned... by far... with the wellbeing of strangers in Houston versus strangers in Mexico? When a plane carrying 210 people goes down over India, why does my heart hope that the manifest does not list any Americans?

God's heart for Israel and the delineation between tribes and peoples throughout the Bible gives us precedent for having certain loyalties. But does this explain or excuse a heart that runs hot and cold for people along geographical and political boundaries?

This bugs me about myself at the moment.

While I'm on the subject, what is with the news emphasis these days? Does anyone remember the floods and mud slides in Hondurus some years ago? A devastating situation that made the nightly news for many nights in a row. Just recently, we have on planet earth a massive, richter-busting earthquake that killed hundreds and injured a couple thousand in Peru. I first saw an afternoon headline about this on MSNBC.com. I returned to the internet mid-morning the next day anxious to read more about what's going on there... but found, instead, a big, old headline on LiLo (or something similarly non-newsworthy). Maybe I'm cruising the wrong news sites, but does it strike anyone else a bit odd that this story was, like, a footnote?

Just some Friday morning musings... back to the books! I'm taking Old Testament History this semester and loving it!

Hope you all have a great weekend! An interview with Evelyn Adams is coming!

Love, Sarah

On my iPod... Water Music Suite II Allegro by Handel

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