A Summer in Contrast

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By Mark Tetley

It is good to be back posting again. I hope your summer was enjoyable. Our nation certainly was filled with lots of activity.

The summer has come to a close with the devastation of Hurricane Harvey being ever in front of us. At the onset of the storm, we heard stories of great heroic activities of people saving lives of others who were stranded. Whether by air, by boat or on foot, people did whatever they felt was their obligation to help others in distress. For some, it was difficult to reconcile the contrasting images of what they were seeing in Texas with what they had seen just a couple of weeks before as the horrifying activities in Charlottesville, Virginia unfolded. A weekend of clashes left many hospitalized and one young woman dead as they were run down by a driver.

There have been times when the question is asked, ”If there was life on other planets and they were  looking down on us right now, what would they think?” If that question was asked during the horror of Charlottesville, they would have had a horrible impression. If it was asked during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, they would have been impressed.

These two events should remind us that we can’t judge a nation by any one event. Every nation has elements that bring out the world’s admiration and those that they would like to believe does not exist. The same is true of people. As much as we like to pretend that our beliefs and lifestyles are without fault, the truth is that we have sides we are proud of and those we do not like to talk about.

This is why it is so important to love first. The Bible teaches that as we let love guide our lives we will show patience and accept the faults of others, hopefully as they accept our faults.

Colossians 3:13 –  bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

1 Corinthians 13:7 – Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

As you read this another hurricane is heading toward the U.S. When Irma hits, I don’t know what you will hear in the reports. You might hear stories of neighbors looking out for their neighbors or you might hear stories of people taking advantage of others. For me, it doesn’t matter what I hear that others are doing for I am committed to loving first. I hope you will do the same.

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