Monday, May 31, 2010

Dealing with Tragedy

by Donna L. Watkins

Tragedies happen and when they do, our human nature tends to want to assess the blame and line up judgment in as many ways as possible.  It's as if we believe we can prevent it from happening to us or in our backyard if we send out a force of accusation against it.  

© Photo 2010 Donna L. Watkins - Eastern Fence Lizard - Florida

Hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, recent oil spills ... so much damage and loss of life ... too much to comprehend, so we focus on blame.  

Don't we process our own tragedies in life the same way?  If we continue to blame somebody else for what happened to us, we feel like the flood of grief, anger and pain will flow in that direction.  But it doesn't.  We are still left with the hurt and memories and horrors of trauma that have left their imprint up on our soul and spirit.  It's obviously not a workable solution.

Lately The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has been taking some accusations for being "linked" to the BP oil spill.  TNC was pretty much the pioneer in building relationships with the mega corporations that pollute and poison God's Creation. We didn't understand it or feel good about it for a long time, but after studying deeper and realizing that it was making such a HUGE difference in preserving lands and reducing pollution, we could see it was wisdom in action.
© Photo 2010 Donna L. Watkins - Spider in Web - Florida

Mentally it doesn't seem to compute ... but the fact is, these corporations are loaded with money and don't mind spending it for some good PR to wash up much of their toxic carelessness ... and in my mind that's a good thing. It's a one-way relationship as far as money goes ... and including them on boards and committees can a good thing. It may look like they get a say in how things are going ... but the real picture is that they get to HEAR and SEE about the effects of what their corporation is doing in our world and the tremendous burden and consequences it places upon people.

This progressive arrangement has been attacked before. It reminds me of Jesus always hanging out with the "bad guys" of His day ... hoping that His Light and Good would displace the Dark and Evil in those who spent time with Him. 

He accepted "gifts" from this dark side also. The Pharisees quickly judged him for eating with tax collectors and sinners when he accepted dinner at Levi's house. While He dined at Simon's house (the Pharisee), the sinful woman came to wash Jesus' feet with tears and anoint him with oil and Jesus honored her actions.

At a well in Sychar, He took water from a Samaritan woman which was totally forbidden -- actually He asked for it and then had an extended conversation with her. For Jesus to talk to a woman alone was considered improper. Since she was a Samaritan, it compounded the offense.

© Photo 2010 Donna L. Watkins - Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly - Florida

Our Western finite analytical minds seem to believe that we can figure it all out or make sense of everything ... but wisdom is above understanding and many times we are not able to comprehend Jesus working in the midst of what we consider evil, but He did it all the time.

As I've learned more and more about His love and the Grace earned and offered on Calvary, I realize it's just my own legalism that blocks me. My belief that I am able to understand all things if I think about and analyze it long enough is futile.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD." Isaiah 55:8

BP has donated lots of money to TNC and lots of land for preservation.  Christians have not stewarded the earth well, and God is not opposed to using anybody who will work to preserve it for future generations. 

Our world has become saturated with toxic-related illnesses, besides the millions in "unknown" countries, who have died because of environmental destruction polluting their lands and water supplies. We in America have been the biggest abusers of the earth in countless direct and indirect ways. We even ship our toxic waste to other countries to process ... and we grow and import flowers, fruits and vegetables from other countries that allow chemicals that we have outlawed.  To add to the atrocity of it all, most of these countries use child labor and without fair wages. Oh God ... forgive us ... and bring revival again so that we may see YOUR will more clearly for ourselves and Your Creation.

© Photo 2010 Donna L. Watkins - Yellow Iris - Bluebird Cove, VA
Colossians 1:16 says all things were made by Him and for Him. The fact remains that the multitudes of beautiful designs evident in the earth point to a good Creator of infinite wisdom and knowledge and power. Creation reveals God's goodness and shows God to be an artistic and scientific Master who pays attention to detail and creates many good things for people to enjoy.

Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher "standard of living" is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free. For us the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television, and the chance to find a pasque-flower is a right as inalienable as free speech. -- Aldo Leopold (1886-1948)

“In God’s wilderness lies the hope of the world – the great fresh, unblighted, unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness of civilization drops off, and the wounds heal ere we are aware.” -- John Muir

© Photo 2010 Donna L. Watkins - Sunrise at Bluebird Cove, VA

The utter simplicity of how much God can reveal to us through His Creation is astounding. Who has not spent a few hours in a forest, or on an empty beach with the ocean's roar, or on a rock by a rolling river, or looked for miles from a mountaintop, or watched a sunset across the meadow of wildflowers ... and not seen God? 

Creation reveals to our hearts within that there is a God and the expanse of it all reminds us of how BIG and GREAT He is.  We have a sense of who we are and that we are to have a purpose and destiny beyond what our minds can imagine.  Creation imparts the creativity of God because we are made in His image.

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him? -- Psalm 8:3-4

© Photo 2010 Donna L. Watkins - Common Buckeye Butterfly - Florida

Pollution has made God's handiwork unseen in many areas of our world. Polluted rivers show not God's glory, but man's selfishness and greed. Mountaintop views of most large cities are blocked by pollution that hovers above. The list could go on and on .....

How easy it is to condemn an organization that is working to preserve God's artwork. Their mandate is to prevent species extinction. We value drawings by our children and hang them up for all to see. How would your child feel if somebody came into your home and tore the picture off the refrigerator and crumbled it up and put it in with the garbage? How does God feel as we misuse and abuse His Creation / artwork?

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The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website: © 2010 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from The link to use is:

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