Hurricanes, Harlots, and Hatchets

The Weather Channel kind of lost its pizzazz with me some years ago but when there’s a major weather event I find myself going back to it.  This past week, with Irma hitting so many and bearing down on us, I watched  a little of the coverage.

The reporters seem to have a little competition going on. Who can stand in the worst hurricane conditions and make the most compelling statement? I guess it serves a purpose but just what should we expect someone to tell us who is getting battered by high winds and rain? The dramatic news they share is intensified by the yelling they have to do to get their voices above the storm. It makes a certain point, that’s for sure. The reporters back in the studio have a little calmer attitude about the whole thing but even they can get caught up in hyperbole. I’d like to do a word count on “devastating” or “catastrophic”.  Each storm the tone seems to be taken up a notch. Reporting conditions and showing videos of storm damage isn’t sufficient. We have to hear it from people who are standing right in the middle of the hurricane.

In a rather famous scene in the third chapter of 1 Kings, two prostitutes bring a case before King Solomon. The two women live in the same house and both give birth to new babies within days of each other. The fat, lazy prostitute rolls over in the bed one night and mistakenly smothers her child. While the other woman and her child are sleeping, the first switches babies with her. When she awakens the next morning, it’s obvious to her what has been done but the other woman vehemently denies the charge. The case comes before King Solomon for judgment. Solomon listens and then proposes that a sword be brought in so that the baby might be cut in two pieces, one half for each mother. The real mother can’t stand to hear of her child being thus killed and tells the king to give the child to the other woman instead.  Solomon takes that as proof that she is the real mother and awards the child to her.

Solomon, we could say, has the advantage of perspective. He’s not lost in the emotion of losing a child and can bring an imaginative solution forward, one that propels the case to a rightful conclusion.  Instead of having to conduct a full blown investigation, his lighter approach brings more immediate justice.

The more entrenched we are in a situation the harder it is to see beyond the desperation of the moment. When we’re dealing with a hurricane we can’t make too many decisions about anything else. We just have to react to the circumstances and deal with the most immediate need. The bigger the storms in our lives, the less likely we are to have a detached and light perspective.

Is there time in your life where you practice gaining perspective? Is there a discipline of reflection? Do you make time to look over the top of the upcoming storms in your life or are you never able to recover from the last storm before the next one hits? Are you making time for wisdom and imagination to flourish? It’s amazing how much wisdom and good judgment we can have when we make daily time for developing a connection with God. When that connection is healthy and regular, we are enabled to find much quicker resolution.

Storms are always brewing. What sort of perspective do you have? If you’ve given more power to the struggles in life than you have to God himself, consider an adjustment. A new perspective awaits. Christ shows us that God is more powerful than our storms.

Yours faithfully,