The Blame Game

Unless you’ve spent the last two months under a rock, you’re painfully aware of the gargantuan oil spill (or is it a leak now, since it’s still flowing?) in the Gulf of Mexico. British Petroleum has become a new focus for our combined national displeasure, we weep at the pictures of oil drenched pelicans and sea turtles, and grieve with the residents of the Gulf coast reeling from yet another blow to their economy, way of life, and sense of security. And throughout the past seven weeks, there’s been more finger-pointing, name-calling, and fault-finding between the various parties than we’ve seen since the last election. No solutions, no satisfactory conclusions, no legitimate answers. Just another round of the Blame Game.

The Blame Game may well be the longest running reality show in history. It started way back when (“back in the day” as folks like to say) with the first man and woman, and their Creator God. They made a big boo-boo. God showed up and asked them a typically parental question. Can’t you picture God, hands on hips, arms crossed, tapping one foot as He asks:
(God) “Did you eat from that tree I told you not to eat from?”
(Adam) “That woman YOU gave me, she gave me the fruit.”
And like all reality shows, the Blame Game has been dragging mankind deeper into the muck ever since.

It reminds of the day my husband decided to fix the dripping bathtub faucet. Having no plumbing experience to speak of, he proceeded to dismantle the faucet. When the valve opened, a fire hose-worthy jet of water shot out of the pipe, across the tub, struck the opposite wall, and splashed back.
He hollered for me. I found him standing in the tub, holding his hands over the spray in a futile attempt to stop the water.
“Turn off the water! Go downstairs and turn off the water!” He yelled.
“What did you do? What happened?” I demanded. When he hollered again, I ran for the basement and searched in vain for the water shut-off from the cistern. Unable to find it, I raced back upstairs.
“I can’t find it.”
“You don’t know where the shut-off is? Get in here and hold this!” My husband, my dear, darling husband shouted at me. “I’ll go find it.” (He didn’t know where it was, either.)
To this day I don’t know what we were thinking. I stepped into that freezing flow and stuck my hands over the hole in the wall. While we squabbled over being unable to find the shut-off valve, and I was mad about him taking the faucet apart to begin with, the water (we were what, trying to force back down the pipe?) was running between the walls into the basement, creating a lovely waterfall where no waterfall should be: in the door frame of the downstairs bathroom.

Can you see the similarities? While we were casting blame and finding fault we weren’t thinking clearly. We were unable to find the simplest solution to the very real problem, and we were getting angrier and angrier (and colder and wetter) the whole time, while the damage expanded.

Blame causes blindness, both to the cause of the problem and to the solution. 

The way I see it, it’s not time to figure out who is at fault while the earth is bleeding a gusher into the sea. Fault and responsibility can be resolved later. For now, we need to help. How? Well, for most of us going to the coast to sing “Dawn takes grease out of the way” while we scrub birds is not an option. But we aren’t helpless. There are two very important things we can do.

1. Pray. No, seriously. God is still God, no matter what’s going on, and “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” Pray for mercy on the people affected by the spill. Pray for mercy on the earth, the wildlife, the water. God healed bodies of water in the Old Testament. Is he still the same God? You betcha. But cooperation is required. It’s awfully hard to cooperate with someone you aren’t listening to!

2. Refuse to participate in the Blame Game. Water cooler finger pointing, griping about BP’s whiny CEO, or armchair quarterbacking President Obama’s actions or inactions (depending on which side you’ve taken), are not doing anybody any good. What if the next time someone started to blame and find fault (about the oil spill or anything else), you grabbed his or her hand and said, “Let’s pray about it, right now.” Radical, huh?

Lord, please speak to the men and women in positions of authority and responsibility over this situation. Open their eyes to comprehend and understand solutions to the problem. Bind strife and selfish ambition that bring confusion and every evil work. Release peace to the parties involved, that they may be able to hear Your voice in their ears saying “this is the way, walk in it.” 
Have mercy upon your creation, Father God. All belongs to You, and You are good, abounding in mercy and love. Father, You who are the source of all wisdom and knowledge, show people how best to clean up the oil in the water, on the shores, and under the water. Give witty inventions, plans, and methods to those whose eyes and ears are open for solutions. 

Have mercy on the people affected, whether financially or mentally or physically, show them mercy and grace and help in this time of need.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

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3 thoughts on “The Blame Game

  1. Jill Kemerer says:

    I've felt so helpless about the gushing of oil killing all those helpless animals. It makes me angry and sad, but you're right, prayer is the only way I can help.

  2. patti says:

    You have touched a nerve here as my bro is the liasion in the oil spill for the Governor of Louisiana. He worked for over two months w/o a day off and finally had to pull himself a way for a bit.

    A true mess of staggering proportions. Once again big $$ with little or no concern for the world's water supply.

    Oops. Got political myself.

  3. Niki Turner says:

    Jill – I just keep thinking about Elijah, just a regular human, and the power his prayers wrought in the earth. Keep praying!

    Patti – Your brother's position makes it all the more up close and personal. I'll be praying for him, specifically.

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