Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Why so downcast, O my soul?

[I got me some malaise, Binx, as thick as the silence after the bluesman's last note hits the floor.]

The mood around the office is funereal. Everyone is quiet. No one is meeting eyes.

I haven't mentioned that accursed name yet, in my blogposts. I haven't talked about her destruction, the thousands of lives ruined, the hundreds dead. I haven't had the heart to face it full on. Now it's starting to creep into the edges of my perception and I want to mourn it, to mourn for them.

"This world is not my home, i'm just a passing through." But this world can be a pretty jacked up Motel 6, sometimes. And you don't get the full newspaper on your doorstep; just the obit sections.

The Superdome survivors are being bussed here to the Eighth Small Wonder of our Weary Modern World. They will camp out in the structure across the street from my humble little third-story flat. I want to go over there, to help them somehow, to assist in the relief efforts, but it all seems too big for me. From what I can tell, they don't want physical hands, just cash, but cash is what i don't got right now. All i've got is time and breath and two fat hands that can lift and pack and share things.

If I don't help out, if I don't volunteer, if I let my weak selfish self make excuses, and flip TV channels instead of crossing the street to minister, then my shame will be there every day, outside of my window, on my commute, as I walk past quickly with my upturned collar and my cold shoulder.

The worst part of this dark cloud hovering over my desk is that my real concerns right now, my greatest concerns, the ones that i've been thinking about for days, have nothing to do with that wicked hurricane or her displaced victims. My worries are so simple--money and relationships and fabricated existential crises. And if I'm going to miss my favorite TV program.

I want to repent of being so preoccupied with such things. But I must admit that I would doubt my own repentance. And I don't even know the depths of my own heart like the One to whom I would repent does.

I want to weep. But if I weep, I'm afraid I will only be weeping for myself and my own insignificant cares. Such prodigal tears would only shame me more.

Pray for the victims. They need so much.

[Please, God, help me find the path out of my labyrinthine selfishness, so that I can do something useful for once.]

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