Angels and Demons – in Real Life
By Jim Kuiken
Everyone in Texas, pretty much everyone in the United States, and lots of folks all over the world are experiencing, watching or aware of what is going on in Texas this week (and probably Louisiana in the next few days).
It is a national disaster on a scale not seen since the founding of our country, and will continue to play out over the next few weeks, months, and even years. People across this nation (myself included) have family and/or friends living in the area who are affected by this tragedy.
The loss of life (with more to come), the devastation, misery and heartache are all very real, and deeply touch my soul, as well as most people of good will throughout the nation and the world.
Out of every tragedy or devastating event come stories of heroism (no, not “athletic prowess” or celebrity notoriety – actual heroism, where someone steps up to help and serve others at the risk of their own life and safety). This event is no different. All you have to do is watch any (responsible) news outlet, and you will see the stories.
People have come from all over the nation (and several other nations, like Mexico and Israel for example) to help. Many private citizens bringing supplies and help, their own boats, trucks, clothing, food, water, etc…with no compensation or other reason than to help others in need.
Churches, civic organizations, businesses and corporations, and many other organizations are stepping up to help. Agencies that are charged with the responsibility for assisting others (police, fire/ems, national guard, FEMA, etc.) are serving way beyond their lawful duty and normal capacity, and putting themselves at risk (some, like Houston Police Sergeant Steve Perez, will pay the ultimate price for their sacrifice), working non-stop long hours to do whatever it takes to save lives. I’ve talked about this before, in my article “What it Takes”.
These are the Angels. As described from the very mouth of many of those saved.
Unfortunately, in every bad situation where people are at risk and need help, there are $#!?heads. Some are just petty idiots, like those so focused on their own political agenda that they just have to tweet about shoes, or that Texans deserve what happened because of how they voted in an election, instead of about all the heroic efforts of those involved, what is being done to coordinate the rescue and recovery efforts, and ways others could step up and provide assistance. Disgusting fools.
However, some are just evil.
When the Cajun Navy, a volunteer organization of boat owners from Louisiana showed up, with 20+ boats to get out and start helping to rescue others – even though they know that the storm is headed towards their own homes – besides actually saving lives (like the elderly lady that was floating away, see the link above for the story), they also came under fire by armed looters. That’s right…disgusting dregs of our society began shooting at the boats full of people there to help…because they were interrupting their looting of the homes and businesses of people who were forced to leave all their worldly possessions behind and flee to save their lives.
Not only were these lowlife (I don’t want to call them animals – it would be a deep insult to animals to call these spawn that) going in and taking advantage of helpless people in their most vulnerable time, but they were actually shooting at other people who had dropped their own lives, packed up and come all the way over, spending their own time and money, and voluntarily putting their own lives and safety at risk just to help out those in need where they could.
And that’s not even the worst of it. Looting, and armed robbery (yes, actually pulling a weapon on someone who is fleeing with whatever of their most precious possessions that they could carry, and robbing them at gunpoint of those items and any money they had with them) has become so prevalent that Houston has increased the penalties for burglary. Before this, burglarizing a home would normally bring a penalty of two to twenty years in prison, but now brings five years to life.
Luckily, the vast majority of people (Texans, other Americans, and those from around the world) actually care about other people, and they step up to offer any help and whatever subsistence they can in another’s time of need.
I’m glad those who are evil will be sought out and punished to the fullest extent of the law. I’m also more than happy to give all the importance to those who spend their time in petty nastiness that they deserve – none. I step over them as I would filthy gum on the street.
But most of all, my faith in human kindness and decency is renewed by each terrible event that befalls us, and the caring and response that the majority of people feel and act upon – generously giving of themselves, and anything that they can bring to help and comfort those in need. I pray (and yes, I mean that literally) for those in need, and for those who step forward to help. Thank God there are people like you.
Angels – 99. Demons – 1.