I was halfway up a stone stairway when I flipped open Newsweek and began to read. I changed my position several times—standing on one foot to kneeling to sitting on the edge of a step. Why? because my attention had been riveted to the story of the “bulls eye” hit of lightening that struck the power stations that plunged New York City into total darkness. No moving elevators, no pumps for water supply, no trains, no power for the hospitals, no way to get from one point to another inside or outside a building. A passage from Isaiah fits what happened in New York: “For, behold the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people” (Isa. 60:21).
As I read of people looting store after store, I shook my head in disbelief. Markets were set up within hours to sell the stolen goods at bargain prices, like some fancy country fair, a bazaar situation. To see pictures of racks of dresses and huge oil paintings being lugged by people who looked as if this were their regular occupation was like watching a comic opera. But when buildings were burned, endangering lives and leaving people homeless, reporters could only call it “deep resentment and anger against society coming out.” What else?
Time magazine headed its reports “Looking for a Reason” and “Why the Lights Went Out.” Phrases from this run from “highly improbable natural events” to “acts of God.” At 8:37 PM a power station was struck at Indian Point, quite a distance up the Hudson River. At 8:56 in Westchester, and at 8:59 the third in North Pleasant Valley. At 9:27 the fourth further crippled all the electrical supply and by 9:41 everything was at a standstill. Such a black-out supposedly couldn’t happen. For people who do not believe there is a God to act, “an act ...1
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