How Not to Respond to the Flood
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson

Don’t respond with theology.
God isn’t angry, and God doesn’t want devastation.
Your sin didn’t cause the flood
that swept away your home, your town.
God doesn’t punish Houston, and
didn’t punish Miami or San Francisco, or New Orleans,
because God isn’t in the storm.
God weeps at our suffering. God loves.

Don’t respond with politics.
Hate government assistance later;
dismantle welfare tomorrow.
This is a time for us all to unite
to offer assistance,
to protect the weak and endangered.
Remember to feed the hungry
and clothe the naked.
The Bible and the government both agree on that.

Don’t respond with greed.
Raise prices later,
on something else.
Not on housing or food, or medicine.
Not when people are soaked, tired, and terrified.
Do you rob the poor to line your pockets?
God cherishes the poor and the needy.

Don’t close your doors.
The point of your great big building is the people it can shelter.
You can always redo the floors
or get another carpet.
The time to shelter the homeless is now.
God wants to send an Ark.
Be that Ark.

As you treat the least of them …

Respond with compassion,
Respond with deeds of kindness,
Respond with open hands,
Respond with love,

… so shall you be treated.

Originally posted by Laurie Hays Coffman

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