It seems like I have been away from the REAL WORLD for rather a long time.
September starts tomorrow and it feels like only a blink away it was June.
The summer has been full of youth holidays and summer clubs and all sorts of wonderful things but, as today, I have come back to the real world to discover that while I have been having fun, workign with young people (often both of those at the same time!), listening to Christian talks and seminars, leading worship, attending worship, listening to bands, praying, studying the bible, or generally chilling, the world has continued with its joys and sorrows.
This weekend I've been away at Greenbelt and been totally unaware of the terrible news from the States that has been around the last few days. However today on the news I heard it for the first time along with news of the shocking deaths at the religious ceremonies in Iraq.
I had known that there was some news about the hurricane but I hadn't realised how much greater the impact was than previous hurricanes until on Radio 4 this afternoon I heard of the extent of the rescue operation.
As I was about to blog about it this evening, I received a nudge from a friend (I think!) suggesting that my sympathies for the Americans weren't as evident as my sympathies had been for the people affected by the Tsunami and that I wasn't yet clamouring for greater relief aid from the rest of the world, as I had been from America in December.
Yes of course I think the world should be right in there helping. Yes it is a shocking tragedy and even though the figures are thousands not tens of thousands the impact on individuals is no less. My prayers go out to all those affected especially those bereft at the loss off their homes or by bereavement. However there is an important difference between the two events. The countries affected by the Tsunami of December 2004 had barely no resources of their own, and in some cases, large areas of the country as a whole were affected. In the current situation the country, the USA, has vast resources and the area affected is not a geographical majority.
Nevertheless, there is a way you can help. The American Red Cross is seeking donations here.