It’s been a bizarre few weeks. First Hurricane Harvey, then Hurricane Irma with Jose close behind. In the middle of all that, we commemorated the 16th anniversary of 9-11 and heard the devastating report of a magnitude 8.1 earthquake in Mexico, the largest to hit our southern neighbor in over a century. Understandably, disasters and tragic events have occupied headlines for nearly three weeks.
With multiple 24 hour news networks and a Weather Channel that profits off of bad weather, it’s no wonder that we’ve been saturated with tragic news. Jim Contore has become a household name, and Facebook is blowing up with videos of on-site reporters being blown away by 100 mph winds.
There’s much to be said of the news coverage. No doubt lives were saved because adequate notice of the hurricane’s potential impact was given. Thousands more were prepared in ways they may never have considered. Thankfully the attention has encouraged an outpouring of support from around the world, raising millions of dollars for necessary relief efforts.
As thankful as I am for all the coverage, I wonder if I’ve become saturated. The emotional part of my brain can only process so much tragedy before I become numb or, worse, disinterested. And having given so much attention to Harvey and Irma, do I have the emotional capacity to care about Mexico’s earthquake or fires out West or whatever else CNN tells me I should be concerned about?
On days like these I appeal to scripture. In particular Psalm 46 comes to mind as a powerful reminder of God’s determination to bring order from chaos. May it be our prayer for these rather tumultuous times:
O God, you are our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
You are in the midst of the city, therefore it shall not be moved;
You will help when the morning dawns.
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Peace to you and yours.