I can go months and months without turning the television on. My boys watch sports and cartoons; it is a rarity that I am the one turning it on. But over the last couple days I’ve been glued to the news and weather. The pictures are heartbreaking and the stories are just beginning.
One man’s words struck me more than the admirable yet familiar, “we will rebuild.” He said, “Last week we were looking at colleges for my daughter. Now we have nowhere to live. Our priorities have changed.”
The pictures document changed priorities in a devastating way. No one wants to lose anything, much less everything. I can confess to being upset over losing tiny things, wholly inconsequential things, like a pair of earrings. I’m admitting that because it’s true, not because it’s right.
We can and should pray for all the people affected by this unbelievable storm (my own area outside of DC appears relatively unscathed). We can and should give to relief organizations (two good ones: Operation Blessing and Samaritan’s Purse). But we also can and should examine our own priorities. Those images make me think about what I value most, and convicts me about what I clearly over-value.
Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (NIV 1984).
This morning I am praying for those who’ve lost family members and friends, for those who have lost all their belongings, for those whose lives will not return to “normal” for a long, long time. And I’m praying that those surreal images will be an impetus for all of us to number our days aright.