Some thoughts
What do we say after a week like the last one? Fires, shootings, more fires, and still more fires. It seems like the bad news doesn't end.

We'd like to think that if we're "good," that is, if we're honest, trustworthy, compassionate, loving, patient, kind, that we'll be rewarded with a good and comfortable life, but is that what you see on this planet Earth? Well, it's kind of like the "rule of thumb" in Proverbs: Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Usually that's the case. It's a rule of thumb. But certainly not always. There are plenty of lovely and loving parents who, for reasons unknown, raise a child who becomes far less than they'd hoped.

There was a book many years ago called, "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" by the Jewish rabbi, Harold Kushner. In it the author attempts to explain that life can be pretty random, and it often seems that the bad people (drug lords, internet scammers, you can think of plenty yourself) make lots of money and live pretty luxurious lives while some salt-of-the-earth citizens have children with cancer and horrible automobile accidents. Jemel Roberson, the black security guard and church organist, is killed by police while doing his job. Life is NOT FAIR.

Former SBJA parents, Donna and Tim Gohr, retired last year, and moved to a dream home in, hold your breath, Paradise, CA. Last week it was demolished. I remember so well their anticipation of retirement in a lovely home among the trees, and eventually photos of backyard wildlife appeared on their Facebook pages. Now, their home is gone. Fortunately they feel they will be OK, their insurance was up-to-date and their years of planning will serve them well. However, as they've related, there are plenty of others in that community who will not fare so well. In the Gohr's time of re-organizing their own lives, they've taken the time to give information about how to help the other families who will not fare so well in the aftermath of that fire storm. If you'd like to help, here is a website to explore.

We can't prevent disasters from happening, but we can join the helpers that Mr. Fred Rogers (Mr. Roger's Neighborhood) describes: "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world."

Knowing that life is not fair is a start to understanding and accepting what we face in this old world of ours. One time we might be the victim, another time the helper. I think it's our turn at present to be the helpers.