As floods destroy large parts of Nebraska, the water is taking with it some residents’ livelihoods. It’s not surprising to hear people affected by the natural disaster call out to God in their times of distress, but a Washington Post story about this flooding quoted one resident whose religious reference was even more depressing than usual.
… The day before, [Anthony Ruzicka] and his neighbors in Verdigre, in the northeast corner of Nebraska, had chased most of his herd of 300 cattle a half mile to higher ground, just in case. He doesn’t yet know his total fatalities, but on Saturday alone he saw 15 carcasses.
And losing so many calves and bulls? Calves represent next year’s cash (it takes 12 to 18 months to reach slaughter weight) and bulls represent genetic material that may distinguish the quality of a herd from someone else’s.
“I’m 39 years old; I don’t have children. The cows are my children, and my farm is completely destroyed. Maybe it’s a sign from God to go and do something else,” Ruzicka said.
You heart goes out to anyone who lost as much as Ruzicka did. He’s far from the only farmer to experience great economic loss from the flooding.
But for God to tell Ruzicka to “do something else” in this way seems downright cruel. (He could’ve sent a Post-it Note.)
If God is using the weather to tell anybody anything, perhaps it’s to start taking climate change more seriously.
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