Lessons Learned From Our New Orleans Mission Trip – Post 2 – “We Feel Cursed”

“We Feel Cursed”
On our first trip I remember hearing people express this sentiment post-Hurricane Katrina. How could an American entire city be submerged under water? This time, we heard people express it in relation to the oil spill. “We feel cursed”, “Why does this always happen to us?”. If you ask a Pat Robertson type, he’ll say that you are cursed. Ask even an environmentalist type, and you may get a similar response. But if you ask someone like me, it’s because we live in a fallen, depraved world and we are all cursed in some way.

I know this is a pretty pessimistic post but we will never run out of bad news streaming across our televisions and computer screens. There will always be tragedy to be shocked about. There will always be many crying themselves to sleep at night. Sometimes it’s you, sometimes it’s me. We are all cursed.

When talking about New Orleans and the Gulf region, I often hear people ask if it’s worth rebuilding because it’s likely inevitable that they will be devastated by another natural (or man-made) disaster anyway. I would like to assume that these people never take medicine or go to the doctor when they are ill. I mean why bother, if this illness doesn’t kill them, they probably figure something else will kill them. So why concern oneself with getting better if it is inevitable that one day their body will stop working anyway? This logic sounds weak right? That’s how I feel when people wonder if we should rebuild places like New Orleans.

Like I said, we are all cursed in different ways. Some choose to deny this reality and are completely overtaken by surprise and shock when pain and evil find them. Others accept this and live their lives in such paranoia that they souls are too paralyzed to even enjoy the good days. Obviously a balance would be helpful but that’s only the start. We need hope. We need a real reason to be hopeful.

This is one of the many reasons why I am a follower of Jesus. He is the hope that can save all of us from this cursed world. He offers salvation, forgiveness, redemption and recreation. It also reinforced to me the important work that must be done in New Orleans and the Gulf Region. Not only from a physical rebuilding but including a psychological and social one and especially a spiritual rebuilding. From conversations with people, there are many groups that continue to come and serve. I found that to be encouraging. My prayer is that one day people will no longer feel exclusively cursed but rather released because of the hope of Jesus.

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