To look outside, one would never know there is a problem. The sky is filled with a bright winter sun, the sky is a pale blue, and there is a hard frost coating the grass. Everywhere you look everything is still; almost as if in anticipation. Nothing indicates the trauma people are facing elsewhere. The uncertainty of the life status of loves ones they just talked to yesterday. The trauma of the eighty thousand people admitted to Accident and Emergency across England yesterday. The reality of devastation is playing out on televisions, web sites, and though text messages. Why? Could we have done anything about it? When are we going to get some answers?
The words I write will not solve the problems of the world or condemn those who could have taken actions which would have reduced the suffering. My intent is not focused on those areas though I am sure thousands of words will be spoken, written, and captured over the next few days along these lines. My focus is two-fold. The first is to acknowledge that the questions are not new. We have questioned for decades, centuries, and probably from the beginning of time. When Jesus was confronted with the reality of a good friend dying there were “others among them [who] said, ‘Well, if he loved him so much, why didn't he do something to keep him from dying? After all, he opened the eyes of a blind man.’” (John 11.37) And the questions continue right through this morning.
The second is to raise the question of response. There is no way of predicting some tragic events. They are, at least for most of us, beyond our control or influence. Yet we are not powerless. The question of what happens once we are aware is one we cannot ignore. Not acting is a response. Acting with compassion is an alternative. You and I have a unique opportunity to give of ourselves when nothing else could be more important. We may not know why yet we do know why we act; in love.
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