Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sorry from a distance

The American East Coast is being pummeled by Storm Sandy. In Burma, thousands of refugees have fled sectarian fighting. In Africa, radical Muslims have brought havoc to Sudan and Mali. Indian Hindus and Islamists decimate villages and kill people who disagree with them.

Here on the West Coast, we watch reports of possible tsunamis in Hawaii, sitting in a comfy chair. We see photos of flooded streets in New York, dry, rested, and fully powered up. We gaze at the dark rainy landscape that is October in Seattle through windows, from warm rooms. We read news of world dangers with the light of a computer screen shining on our well-fed faces.

Our sense of security is temporary and our control of circumstances an illusion but we normally react in three ways to others' traumas:
  1. We ignore everything outside our own experience. Life revolves around us and our comforts or discomforts.
  2. We become fearful that the world is only awful and dangerous, waiting to spiral out of control. Life seems dark and unsafe: God can't be trusted because He allows terrors, wars, and sickness. Though we may not follow God ourselves, we blame Him for bad decisions by governments or individuals, the spread of illness, and religious decisions that produce famine, deprivation, and violence. After all (outside of our own free will, which we don't want Him to touch), isn't God responsible for the world?
  3. We respond with prayer, care, and help for others. Jesus sorrowed with those who mourned and healed the sick. He took time out for the hurting and helpless. We have many opportunities to support those who go even when we cannot go to help. Choose prayerfully where and when to engage but don't ignore the needs around us, even from a distance.
What's your choice today?

Read more:
*He spoke and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. Psalm 33:9

*The Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth: Say to daughter Zion, “See, your salvation comes.” Isaiah 62:11

*Jesus said to the deaf man, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Mark 7:34-35

*Christ was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake. 1 Peter 1:20

Moravian Prayer: Worship, honor, glory, blessing—you are worthy to receive! Great Creator and great Healer, we thank you for the gift of life. Open our ears and enable us to speak plainly the words of love and grace you would have us share with others.

 Holy Christ, you are the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. In you we find consolation, salvation and joy. We pause now to thank you for your graciousness and pray for a daily sense of gratitude. In Christ’s name. Amen.

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