Here in the US, January proved to be a soggy and weather-beaten month for much of the country. Storms throughout the Midwest and West left many states with teaming rivers and lakes, the most notable being California. After weeks of unseasonable weather, Californians fell victim to mudslides that took several lives, destroyed homes, vehicles, and roadways. The Midwest also took a beating and in some areas, the flooding problems were further compounded by freezing temperatures solidifying the unrestrained waters. Never one to let the West steal the spotlight, the Northeast is currently recovering from what has been termed the Blizzard of 2005; a system that dumped several feet of snow in some areas and left Boston residents wading through 6 ft snow drifts.
Israeli and Palestinian Leadership
In World news, the Middle East took the stage as Sharon held on to his position as Israel’s Prime Minister despite defections last year from his previous government and Abbas was sworn in as Palestine’s new head of state. The world is waiting with baited breath to see what sort of peace agreements will be made and if the resolutions of both leaders will be upheld.
The most compelling news of the month, however, proved to be the first democratic elections in decades held in Iraq on Sunday, January 30th. Amid much skepticism and descent, the elections were held and, though insurgents succeeded in taking almost thirty lives, democracy prevailed and large numbers of Iraqis came out of their homes, defying the intimidation of potential death, and cast their first vote as a democratic nation. Iraq has taken the first step in a long process toward democracy.
Freedom and Peace
As I reflect on the month, I’m reminded, once again, that God is in control and that His ways are beyond my understanding. The beautiful thing, I find, is that amid death and devastation, the human race resiliently presses on and achieves two of the most beautiful of God’s gifts, freedom and peace.