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Monday, November 26, 2007

Malibu Burning

Homelessness does not show Favoritism
Losing one's home is an unexpected plight of both the poor and rich alike. Take the picturesque seaside village of Malibu, California, for instance. Although home to the rich and famous, it is receiving yet another round of wildfires, instantly forcing many who normally live in paradise into desolate conditions. It has been a weekend of calamity! Hot, powerful winds fanned blazes across 4,720 acres starting early Saturday morning. Fifty homes and two buildings were destroyed on Saturday. Twenty-seven other homes were damaged and 10,000 to 14,000 people were evacuated. All of this in the wake of last month's 4,565-acre Canyon Fire that destroyed six homes, two businesses and a church, (see More than 500,000 found Homeless or Worse, Tuesday October 23, 2007). Malibu is prone to Santa Ana-driven wildfires. In 1993, a blaze destroyed 388 structures, including 268 homes, and killed three people.

Since homelessness does not show favoritism, shouldn’t our mercy and compassion reach out to all those who are homeless – regardless of their income bracket? The Malibu fires have become a reminder - “blessed are the merciful”, when they need mercy it will be shown to them as well. Possibly those of us who are wealthy can take a moment in times like this to reassess our response to the homeless around us and consider helping them in more aggressive and tangible ways. As discovered in Malibu this past weekend, we never know when we ourselves may be in a position in life to need the mercy of others to work through our own homeless conditions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your compassionate tone of this article. We are all God's children, even the fortunate ones. Sometimes it's easy to be resentful of people who from outward appearance seem to have it all. Human tragedy applies to us all.