In Florida, Katrina was Category 1. After losing Category status and briefly becoming a tropical storm she then raced up to Category 5. When she landed in the Delta she was a 4.
Katrina tore through the area, unearthing many things, including my opinions on Categories.
I've always thought the tendency of those in my and younger generations to be leary of being placed in Categories was really just an attempt to be placed in the cool "you can't categorize me" Category. But now, I'm not so sure.
I still believe in Categories. People behave in certain ways. It's human nature (and a divinely bestowed gift) to name things. Placing people in Categories is just naming behaviors.
But sometimes the Categories don't stick.
I had placed my president in the category of "a new kind of conservative." I defended him to those who would say he was ambivalent about the poor. I will still defend him, but my faith in him has been tested. Severely. I know he is angry at the response. But I hold him responsible for appointing those who knew not how to respond. I want heads to roll and if they don't, I will be disappointed.
I had placed evangelicals in the "kooky" Category. A category that many times is appropriate. But on Tuesday while liberals secretely had moments of private glee at another reason to point fingers at the president (don't think it didn't occur,) and looked to Hollywood to make them look compassionate, there were people in boats saving lives and in Dallas loading trucks full of water and formula and diapers. If you follow those people's lives for the next few weeks, I can guarantee that, more often than not, you will follow them into an evangelical church.
I placed myself in the racially sensitive Category. On Saturday I was running on Austin. On my way home I spotted a young black man a few blocks up. I crossed over to Washington until I knew I was well past him, then crossed back over to Austin. When it was over, I hung my head in shame at who I had become. Or, rather, who I was exposed to be.
I feel helpless.
I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed.
I remember it all--oh, how well I remember--
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there's one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
GOD's loyal love couldn't have run out,
his merciful love couldn't have dried up.
They're created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I'm sticking with GOD (I say it over and over).
He's all I've got left.
GOD proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It's a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from GOD.
It's a good thing when you're young
to stick it out through the hard times.
When life is heavy and hard to take,
go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear.
Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face.
The "worst" is never the worst.
Why? Because the Master won't ever
walk out and fail to return.
If he works severely, he also works tenderly.
His stockpiles of loyal love are immense.
He takes no pleasure in making life hard,
in throwing roadblocks in the way