Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 29, 2004

are our brother's keeper

By Wendell Mitchell

Ivan had a primary, personal impact on Alabama residents in Baldwin and Mobile counties.

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They were all directly in harm's way. But the consequences of this terrible storm reached far beyond the Gulf Coast.

I am yet to engage any size group in a discussion of this tragedy without someone saying they own a condo or have a beach cottage in Gulf Shores or the Florida panhandle.

An even larger number speak to me about the relatives they have in the same area.

These conversations tell me that many Alabamians have been impacted by this most extraordinary weather event.

We no longer live in a vacuum.

We are all our "brother's keeper."

As technology continues to explode, our world continues to shrink.

We can handle more responsibilities, we can manage more assets, and we can travel greater distances in lesser time than at any time in history.

This translates into second homes, diverse investments, more personal travel n in a word, we are all possessed of much more opportunity than our forefathers.

At difficult times such as this, we are all reminded that, despite our knowledge, assets, and abilities, we are not in charge.

We sang an old hymn in church this past Sunday entitled "This World is not My Home, I'm just a passing through."

How true this is.

Our Creator rules over this universe and we will never be able to alter his plan for us.

That plan includes the good and the bad n at least bad as we perceive it.

Hurricanes and their devastation are to us part of the bad.

They bring grief, destruction, and undesirable memories to all those affected.

We may never understand why these things occur but the Bible tells us that such trials test us and can make our faith even stronger.

My prayers are with those who have suffered physical and property loss, and I pledge my help as a concerned citizen and as a public servant in any way that I can.

Until next time remember, "I'll go with you or I'll go for you" to help you solve any problem related to state government.

Senator Wendell Mitchell can

be reached at 334-242-7883, or by writing

to P.O. Box 225, Luverne, AL 36049.