Circling Vultures. Roaring Lions

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

–          1 Peter 5:8-9



Yesterday, I talked about luxury items being advertised more often during hurricane coverage, but there is also an increase in advertising for readiness items.  We are talking about quick repair kits, lanterns, and generators.


One generator advertisement talks about the aftermath of a natural disaster leaving your home without power.  To me, air-conditioning, cooking food, and preserving food would be priorities needing electricity.  They hardly mention any of that.  Their ad focuses on the one tragedy that is worse than any other – You can’t even charge your cellphone!!!!


Really?  Okay, not being able to call out to let people know that you survived is bad.  Not being able to call a neighbor, blocked on the other side of a river with the bridge out, is bad.  But my first reaction to the TV ad was that if you have lost power in a storm, you have probably lost cellphone signals as well.  Indeed, after Hurricane Michael hit, there is a widespread loss of working cell towers.  No automatic generators keeping the towers powered.  No portable cell towers coming in due to the roads being wiped out.  And when the portable units arrive, they will have charging stations available, no expensive generators needed – for that.


Can we remember that the needs of life are food (including water), clothing, and shelter?  Cellphones are not on the list.


Some of these advertisers can justify their timely commercials as a public service, but they are wanting to make money.  If they were doing it at cost, I would applaud them.  I fear some may be doing it for profiteering.  We have laws against war profiteering.  Can we expand that to natural disasters?  In the coming months, building supplies from Alabama to Virginia are going to be hard to come by.  My wife and I know.  We helped in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina.  It will be so tempting to raise prices due to the large demand and scarcity of supplies.


When I look at these advertisements, I think of circling vultures.  They anticipate the need, so they start to prepare, with dollar signs flashing in their eyes.  At least they can stick ideas in people’s minds beforehand as to whom they can turn.


In the Scripture, Satan appears as a roaring lion, ready to devour.  But what does Peter suggest to the congregations of the churches?  Resist and stand firm.  Be a family of believers.


Is profiteering where we are in America?  Is making money due to the suffering of others what we have become?


I say, “No.”  Mute the commercials, but watch the coverage of the natural disaster recovery efforts around the world.  You may learn how you can help.  You’ll see things like this from Hurricane Michael coverage:

A weatherman goes through several connections to have a mother talk to her son, just to let him know that the rest of the family is okay.

Other weathermen having interviews and allowing the survivors to do a shout-out to all who are worried about them.

Another weatherman who allowed a woman to make an urgent plea for a spare chainsaw or at least a spare chain.  The neighborhood pooled resources, but they only had one chainsaw, and it was going to get dull before they cleared the trees on the street, just so that people could get in and out.  All the trees were down.

Restaurants and grocery stores, knowing that their freezers will soon start to thaw, are having free barbeques in the middle of the street.  Other restaurants are offering free cups of coffee, since many had not tasted the hot beverage in a few days.

And it is neighbor helping neighbor until the church vans arrive.  As one person being interviewed said, “If you don’t have neighbors, you don’t have a neighborhood.”


Forget the commercials.  Think, instead, of a dearly departed friend and neighbor from Pittsburgh.


It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor,
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

It’s a neighborly day in this beautywood,
A neighborly day for a beauty,
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you,
I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

So let’s make the most of this beautiful day,
Since we’re together, we might as well say,
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?
Won’t you be my neighbor?

Won’t you please, won’t you please,
Please won’t you be my neighbor?

–          Fred Rogers, Won’t You Be My Neighbor


Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.


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