Monday, January 02, 2006

Brief Notes

It is too easy to overlook good news in the constant rush of the latest bad news; especially if that bad news either confirms our latest corporate fear (the community of whatever realm of blogistan one frequents), or if it is more bad news for our political enemies.

And this is not a good thing because of the award (I have less and less use for awards) but because it reminds us of something that was truly good:

For resilience, resourcefulness and good old Texas neighborliness on a
scale that did the whole state proud, Houston is the 2005 Dallas
Morning News Texan of the Year
The editorial has its own reasons for this award, but the editorial board cannot report on the goodwill, the sheer desire to help, that pervaded the City's effort. The day I went for training in order to serve meals at the Astrodome, the huge campus of Second Baptist Church was filled with crowds of patiently milling people from literally around the world, many identifiable by non-Western dress, and everyone was patient, kind, and seeking only to help strangers. We were trained and concerned only with meeting those people who had fled Katrina or been finally removed from Katrina's wake, with humanity and decency. And we were preparing to do it for months, and thousands of people in the city prepared to do it on almost a moment's notice.

And the city and county governments (Houston's city limits are the boundaries of Harris County, or might as well be) were also interested only with providing aid. It was not, in all ways, a perfect effort. But it was one of the most impressive efforts I have ever seen, and it underscored the motto the State of Texas chose for itself, and tries to live up to: "Friendly."

On another note, I realized I had heard nothing about Tom Fox and the other members of the Christian Peacekeeping Team, kidnapped in November. That was not neglect on my part; there has been no further news. Considering that the deaths were publicly announced and clearly intended to influence governmental actions, no news in this context may well be good news. But we cannot make such an assumption, and those of us who pray should keep the CPT members in our prayers.

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