Southern California Fires and Leviticus 19:15
October 22, 2007 1 Comment
You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly. — Leviticus 19:15
What is going on in SoCal right now I do not wish on anybody. Being forced to leave one’s home for any reason much less because of inexorable wildfires cannot be a good experience regardless of income level.
Tragically, at least one person has been killed and scores have been injured. Not to mention the millions of dollars in damages but at times like these, this is relatively unimportant.
In perhaps our worst moments, we tend not to feel as bad for these evacuees (300,000 according to above story) as we did for the Hurricane Katrina evacuees. Foolishly we think, “Well at least Cali people have money and probably had their nice homes insured while the New Orleans’ folk truly lost everything and were not insured.”
Personally, I think this sinful attitude is based on the foolish notion that money is the salve that covers a multitude of maladies, including natural disasters. As Leviticus 19:15 points out, we “are to judge our neighbor fairly”.
Naturally, we tend to feel more compassion for the poor, especially when these are subject to disasters like Katrina. The compassion is good provided that it doesn’t deaden us to feel compassion towards evacuees who have more money. Compassion, in order to be just, has to be consistent, has to be fair.
May God forgive us for these unjust attitudes towards people of any income level.