Change through Catastrophe

September 2005

This week, our nation has experienced a terrible natural disaster in the Gulf coast states devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The images of the dazed and homeless victims break my heart, and the scope of the destruction, deprivation and death is overwhelming. I know I join each of you in praying for all those whose lives have been forever changed by this tragedy.

In the midst of the news reports on the myriad dimensions (physical, emotional, environmental, financial, logistical, political..) of this catastrophe, I see or hear evidence of the goodness within us. The stories of courage and sacrifice to help others in need reassure me that we can still find our moral compass even in the midst of chaos around us. Although official efforts to mobilize help have been launched, I also see much evidence of caring, generous individuals throughout the country stepping forward to offer housing, money, equipment, labor, airline tickets, and blood donations to help those in need.

I hope that this time in our country will be a time to come together as a community, with more compassion and communication. I hope that we will learn to be more responsible with our natural resources, and sensitive to the delicate environment of this planet. I hope we can each reach out and help those less fortunate to rebuild their lives and homes. I hope that we can, to paraphrase Maya Angelou, be changed by what has happened to us, but refuse to be reduced by it.

Sharon Keys Seal

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