Tuesday, September 6

The images of New Orleans have been before our eyes and on our minds for over a week now. So have the commentators and columnists who have given us their perspectives on the whole thing. And, of course, blogs are full of "insights" from the disaster. I wanted to share these thoughts from Mike Cope, a preacher in Abilene, TX whose blog I read on a regular basis:

"I am upset. At myself.

As I watched all those evacuees from inner-city New Orleans, I realized I had never seen them. I've seen Nola's. And Galatoire's. And Ralph & Kakoo's. And the Cafe du Monde. And Preservation Hall. And the Imax. And the Aquarium. But I somehow have managed in all those trips to avoid seeing the 28% of that great city who live below the poverty line.

My friend Larry James says that almost all American cities are the same way. The difference is that the people never get flushed out. So we just don't see them. We stay in our malls, theaters, restaurants, and stadiums in the better parts of town. And we complain about our taxes and about the sharing of funds for poorer school districts....I'm mad at me. All those trips to New Orleans and I didn't see these people who matter as much to God as my own sons.

I've been reading Luke 16:19-31 this past week, preparing to teach the university class at Highland. And I didn't like what I saw. Because it's hard to find what the rich man's sin is. He didn't hit Lazarus, didn't kick him out; didn't hurl insults at him.

He just ignored him. Lazarus wasn't even a blip on his radar screen.

There's something unique about this parable of Jesus: a person is named! I wonder if it's because Jesus wanted us to know that--in the world of the story--Lazarus is a person. He has a name. God knows him and cares deeply about him."

To me, that's pretty convicting and insightful stuff.

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