23 February 2011

Earthquake and rescue

The world is glued to the television as another country like Chile and Korea and Haiti cops another devastating earthquake. This time it's New Zealand and the major city on the South Island, Christchurch. Yesterday's 6.3 magnitude earthquake has left a country reeling.

The death toll from Tuesday's quake now stands at 75, with another 300 people missing in the rubble of the shattered New Zealand city.
Julia Gillard is the Australian prime minister and is sending over 300 federal police who will be there to relieve their New Zealand colleagues, and will not be assisting in the rescue efforts.
"Those police officers will go to assist with community policing. They are not going for search and rescue purposes, the search and rescue is being undertaken by the specialist teams we have (already) provided," she said.

The blogosphere is going viral with images from there and comments like, "My heart goes out to you New Zealand.  You are in our thoughts and prayers"

I watched this scene yesterday as the woman was caught on the roof after the earthquake and was rescued before the next aftershock rocked the city again. And I ached for her and for the thousands whose lives were shaken as well.

One of my Facebook friends put things in perspective this way, "We might be passionately opposed when it comes to netball or league or union or cricket yet when it comes down to it- it's all about people GOD DEFEND NEW ZEALAND #ANZAC mateship"
For those reading elsewhere, the national anthem of New Zealand is God defend New Zealand. And mateship, that's what it's all about. 

I remember when the bushfires happened two years ago outside King Lake in Victoria and New South Welshmen from my state went down to help. Or this year in the floods in both Victoria and Queensland when other states who are bitter rivals in sports jumped in to help. 

That's mateship. That's what countrymen are. 

Who are your mates? Whom do you help when things are bad for them.
Do you remember the final episodes of Seinfeld? Due to their selfishness, the foursome of George, Elaine, Kramer and Jerry copped a one-year sentence for breaking the law. What law was that? The Good Samaritan Law. From Wikipedia: "The four witness an overweight man (John Pinette) getting carjacked at gunpoint. Instead of helping him, they crack jokes about his size while Kramer films it all on his camcorder, then proceed to walk away. The victim notices this and tells the reporting officer, who arrests them on a duty to rescue violation that requires bystanders to help out in such a situation." 

The reference to "The Good Samaritan" may be familiar to some. I quote the pericope from the Scriptures here. 
A certain lawyer stood and put Y’shua to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
And Y’shua answered him,  “What is written in Torah? How does it read to you?”
And the lawyer answered,  “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
And Y’shua replied to him,  “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
But wishing to justify himself, the lawyer said to Y’shua,  “And who is my neighbor?”
Y’shua replied and said,  “A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho; and he fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went off leaving him half dead. And by chance a certain priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him, and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said,  ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return, I will repay you.’
Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands? And the lawyer said,  “The one who showed mercy toward him.” And Y’shua said to him,  “Go and do the same.”
(Luke 10.25-37)

Maybe we could all learn a lesson, and help those devastated in earthquake, in flood, in loneliness, in heartache, in smugness, in hostility, in anything which seems to separate us from the love of God. 

Today, let's be Good Sams.


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