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David Timms 

Issue 5.21

Ministry Resource

With the imminent release of the movie The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe later this year, you may want to know more about C.S. Lewis, who wrote the story. Lyle Dorsett's book Seeking the Secret Place: The Spiritual Formation of C.S. Lewis (Brazos Press, 2004) is a lovely biography of Lewis. It highlights his spiritual journey and is definitely worth reading. Lewis was one of the most influential Christians of the 20th century.

HOPE Happenings

This past week the HOPE community grieved the death of Ashley Trapp. Ashley was a senior at Pacific Christian College who, in her first week of classes, suffered an aneurism from which she did not recover. Our prayers and love are extended to her family, and to her friends here on campus.

Katrina's Chaos

Katrina's chaos has revealed both the fury of nature and the character of humanity. Howling winds and driving rain produced one kind of devastation. Marauding thugs, opportunistic looters, and gun-toting thieves have made the bad all the worse.

 

Yes, Federal relief efforts were too little, too slow. Yes, the rush to release oil reserves for the rest of the country while people died in the unsanitary Superdome is a blightful indictment.

 

On the flip side, thousands have volunteered to travel to the stricken area and support the sufferers. Millions of dollars have been given by generous people in supermarkets and sporting arenas.

 

We've seen the worst ... and the best.

 

We are stunned by the descent of New Orleans. In three days it changed from a bustling, prosperous, urban metropolis into a desperate, unhinged, watery wasteland.

 

This devastating experience - with a vast, unconfirmed death toll - drives home our own mortality and weakness. What takes years to build can be overwhelmed in moments. Our confidence cannot ultimately be in the work of our hands, but in the hands of our Creator.

 

But we also get a vivid reminder of human nature. The law continues to be a necessary restraint for evil, which finds full expression amidst disaster.

 

On a much smaller scale, the damage of the hurricane reminds us how quickly destruction can come - not just from nature's elements, but even among us. The goodwill, generosity, and cooperative spirit among some people is matched by the hostility and aggression that lies just beneath the surface in others.

 

The aftermath of Katrina confronts us with the fickleness of our humanity, and challenges us to embrace a faith that can sustain us.

 

As people disperse from Louisiana and Mississippi to all parts of the country - many with nothing but the shirt on their backs - they stand as a beacon to the rest of us. Their message is not related to building stronger and bigger homes, but building the inner person to withstand any storm that ravages. Such building of character and faith cannot be accidental. It flows from thoughtful preparation and intentional application.

 

As we've seen with Katrina's chaos, the storm is no respecter of persons. The wealthy and the poor were all rendered homeless. Both blacks and whites lost everything. Irrespective of race, status, or circumstances, we all share a common need.

 

If any of life's storms displaced us tomorrow - geographically, socially, and emotionally - how would we fare? Paul wrote, "We do not lose heart, for though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day." (2 Cor 4.16)

 

Is that true for you?

 

In  HOPE -

Hope International University
Fullerton, CA 92831

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David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.

For back issues of In HOPE, see http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/