I praise you this morning, God. You alone are worthy of worship and praise, and so I pause to again give you glory and honor for your love, your mercy and your unending grace.
Thank you for your unconditional love and acceptance. Thank you for the grace of Jesus the Christ and for the explosive power of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for creating such a perfect world.
This morning I lift up all the victims of senseless violence. Be with the families of those recently killed in Paris, but be with those grieving families in other areas of the world, as well. families in Syria, in Yemen, in Uganda, in South Sudan, in Iraq , Afghanistan, and even here in the United States. Let every member of every family touched by violence feel your love and experience your peace that passes all understanding.
And Lord I would pray that you grant all your children that perfect love that casts out fear. Help us live as your children should live, unafraid of whatever life brings. We now live in an age of growing violence and terrorism. Grant us all the strength and blessing of faith and faithfulness that we might be beacons of hope and light in a world darkened by fear and hatred.
Allow each of us to live alive, fully sharing the love you have first given us. Help us to be agents of reconciliation in every relationship you have granted us. Empower us to speak love and peace in the face of fear, bigotry and hatred. Grant us the strength to be peacemakers in a world gone mad. And in the end, grant us the blessing of your eternal presence. Amen
War is hell. I know. I have experienced it.
Hunger is hell. I know. I have seen it
I have seen war and I have seen hunger. Nothing can adequately prepare you for either.
Experiencing the violence of combat is terrifying.
Seeing a starving child is terrifying. Seeing the parents of a starving child is even more terrifying.
I know. I have held far too many malnourished and starving children in my arms…Over the past 35 years I have learned that basic humanity demands more than platitudes for the hungry. Morality demands more than compassion. Morality demands action.
I have watched children so hungry here in the US they’ve torn into a 50 lb. bag of potatoes, stuffing raw potatoes into their mouths, gnawing through the dirt to put something in their bellies.
I have watched elderly women, mothers & grandmothers kneel in the frozen Afghanistan mud to pick up individual grains of wheat fallen from bags of relief food.
I have talked with 14 & 15 year old commercial sex workers in Zambia who prostitute themselves so they can eat. When I asked about the threat of HIV/AIDS their answer was as direct as it was chilling:
“If I get AIDS I know I will die, but it will be 3 or 4 years. If I have no food I will starve very quickly.”
I have watched grieving mothers holding their malnourished infants too weak to save. The pain in their eyes will follow me to my grave.
Hunger is hell. And we allow it to exist. If there is any justice in the world our hell will be far worse and for eternity.