Can oaths taken under a clearing January sky ring true beneath the dark days of December? "I do solemnly swear . . ."-these are words requiring the full measure of a man before he is tested in storms man-made or God-sent.
Before merchants by day pack explosives by night, toss them roadside concealed in soiled diapers, and forever prevent some mother's son coming home for Christmas. Before the tectonic plates heave and Apollyonic waves flatten cities. Before a knot of water-laden wind crumples towns like dry leaves in a hand. Before good will becomes as dependable as the bank Robert Frost once knew: a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain.
From the streets of Beirut, the people broke free. In Baghdad young girls ate pistachio-sprinkled ice cream in the open summer air. Even Aslan roared again.
But for many, 2005 was the kind of year the prophet Amos recounted, where one could flee from a lion only to run into a bear. Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it?
Oaths may stand when all the men are falling. But we have surer promises still.
1. Katrina: Diaster defined - by Marvin Olasky
2. Earthmovers: Diaster upon disaster beyond U.S. shores - by Jamie Dean
3. Iraq: War and Progress - by Mindy Belz
4. Africa Discovered: Live8, G8, and other greats - by Priya Abraham
5. Supreme Changes: The High Court - by Lynn Vincent
6. Wrongful 'Right': The case of Terri Schiavo - by Lynn Vincent
7. Papal Transition: From John Paul II to Benedict XVI - by Edward E. Plowman
8. Israel: Leaving the land (and the Likud) - by Jill Nelson
9. Terror: Al-Qaeda affiliates attack - by Priya Abraham
10. Security Storm: Reform plan that didn't - by Timothy Lamer