And while the Olympics were taking place, there was still bad news. The people of Louisiana are too familiar with bad news this year. The country’s attention was focused on Louisiana in July when Alton Sterling was fatally shot by police and then when law enforcement officers Brad Garafola, Matthew Gerald, and Montrell Jackson were killed twelve days later.
The bad news has continued in Louisiana over the last two weeks. Catastrophic floods have produced the worst natural disaster in the U.S. since Superstorm Sandy four years ago. Thirteen people have died. More than 30,000 people have been rescued. At least 60,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged. Many of those affected do not have flood insurance. The people of Louisiana need our attention now more than ever.
They need the attention of our generosity. If you are in a position of abundance right now (and many of us are), consider directing that abundance towards churches and non-profit organizations that are helping those affected in Louisiana. Morristown Church of Christ will be directing some of our abundance next Sunday to help our brothers and sisters there.
They also need the attention of our time. I know many people who have recently donated their time to the recovery efforts in flood-ravaged parts of West Virginia. Those communities still have a long way to go, but they wouldn’t be where they are today without so many giving themselves and their time. Maybe family or work obligations keep you from going to Louisiana anytime soon. But sharing this post with others might encourage them to give what time they can to recovery efforts.
And they need the attention of our prayers. You may not have money or time to give, but all of us can pray. There are situations in the world that we are unable to physically touch. But in prayer, we are able to spiritually touch all that God sees. I don’t know how the Holy Spirit uses our prayers in the world’s affairs, but I trust that He does (Philippians 1:19; 2 Corinthians 1:11). And I believe that the attention of our generosity, our time, and our prayers is what transforms bad news into good news.
Bad news is what gets ratings. Bad news is contagious. Bad news is easy to create. Rather than perpetuating the cycle of bad news, maybe we should break it by turning it into good news.
The story of Christianity is about taking the bad and letting God use it for good. The world today needs Christians who use the bad as an opportunity to do good. Living in ignorance of bad news is not the answer. Just talking about bad news helps no one. Staying angry about bad news makes matters worse. As followers of Jesus, we are uniquely suited to confront bad news with God’s goodness.
2 Corinthians 4:6 – For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Be light today. Confront the world’s bad news with God’s good news. Be blessed and be a blessing.