This morning, on NPR, I heard a farmer from Alabama state emphatically, “We need a tropical storm to make a dent in this drought. If things continue like this, we’re in for a rough winter.”
I’ve never heard anyone ask God for a tropical storm. That, of course, doesn’t mean it never happens, but this wish seems counter-intuitive. Tropical storms often bring costly damage to coastlines, trees, buildings, and lives. Therefore when the farmer on National Public Radio indicated Alabama needs a tropical storm this summer, I was momentarily taken aback.
Then, I remembered that what is good for me may not be good for my neighbor, and what is good for my neighbor may not be good for me. Judging good and evil for others is a task to be avoided. I wouldn’t want a tropical storm, wouldn’t wish one on my worst enemy — if I had an enemy, that is — or on my best friend. Unless, of course, that friend was praying, “Please God send a tropical storm across my dry, barren corn fields.”