Monday, March 17, 2014


Children are suffering.  More than I can count.
For lack of clean water, or food, or vaccines to prevent hideous disease.

I have a son, 3 years old, light of my life.
I couldn’t bear the same happen to him.

By random chance, one father was born here, and another there.  The same except for place; connected.  Were I the parent of the suffering child, what would I have my middle class double in America do?

Continue streaming House of Cards, munching caramel popcorn and sipping Diet Coke?  No, I would have him give:  a care, a dollar, a voice.  I would beg him to fly over with supplies, with compassion, to tackle these problems head-on, even at personal cost.

But as the middle class parent, I’m comfortable.  With my movies, snacks, air conditioning, and recliner.  What’s my incentive to act?  Am I to give up all my comforts, redirect all my efforts to solving these global problems, and encourage all I know to do the same?  The moral answer, though it may be uncomfortable:  yes.
They talk of circles of influence:  the wise pour their energy into that which they can control.  While my circle may be limited, collectively, we have the power to team up to achieve results undreamed of.

I'm no criminal:  the law protects my decision to buy a $5 latte instead of giving the money to charity.  But I live with the consequences:  guilty feelings that I don’t deserve good things while others suffer.  I’m experiencing the disparity between the desire to help, and the reluctance to give up the comforts that have defined my life to date.  Tell me, do you ever feel this way, too?

Joy and Pain

Another airplane gone missing.
Crashed, or, as the news reports say, disintegrated.
The passengers exist no more.
Whole generations extinct:  Mother holding daughter in 26A.  Father in 26B.  Doting grandparents in 26C and D.
No time to tell friends goodbye.  Left on a trip and never returned.
What decent God could allow this?
What God worthy of our prayer would not step in and prevent?
This misery, this unnecessary suffering.
And yet this world has such promise.
Anyone who has glimpsed the beauty of a sunrise or sunset can agree.
The colors more awe-inspiring than paintings from the great masters.
Or the joy of love, of finding one’s true match, that acceptance, willing to do anything.
Or altruism, that honest feeling in our hearts that inspires care about fellow humans.
About causes greater than our own petty, personal dramas.

So what lesson am I to draw?
This saddened wanderer, torn between the beauty and promise of this world, and the all-too-frequent pain and suffering.
What lesson am I to draw?
Tell me God, speak to me and tell me true.
I feel so lost.