I have sat down to comment on the overwhelming situation in Japan several times since Friday. Each time I do, a new twist occurs that changes what I might have written. This is a story that goes beyond comprehension…beyond description…and continues to develop every hour that passes. My heart is truly aching for the people and families in Japan. When the time comes that an overview of the calamity in its entirety can be written, I will do so. For now however, I’d like to share a letter from my former Pastor and friend, Chuck Wilson. Pastor Wilson is about the most decent human being you will ever meet. He’s a man I admire greatly, as well as humbly appreciate for the effect he had on my life. When I am in need of answers…or searching for meaning…when I’m in trouble…or just really need a wise friend…I look towards Pastor Chuck. He’s enjoying life in the mountains of NC now as the senior Pastor of Long’s Chapel UMC in Waynesville, NC, but I receive all of his letters and emails. Today he has written about not only Japan, but all of the tragedies around the globe that keep plaguing humanity, and I thought it worthwhile to share with you.
Thoughts on Faith and Life From Chuck Wilson:
We are reeling from the images we have seen from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. We are overwhelmed by the devastation and the helplessness we all feel to respond. So how do we pray for those who are suffering and for those who have died? It is not easy and anything that we can say seems inadequate. What follows is an ancient way of praying for the people of Japan and those in Christchurch and Libya, Yemen, Ivory Coast and the many other places of unrest in our world. Pray this prayer with me.
Lord our world has been shaken by earthquakes and wars
Lord our lives have been deluged by floods and tsunamis
Our hearts are aching and we are overwhelmed
Lord have mercy
God whose love never lets go, be with all who have died
God whose compassion never ceases comfort all who have suffered loss
God who stands firm as a rock provide security for all whose world has fallen apart
Christ have mercy
Lord hear our cry for mercy when we call to you for help
Lord may we be strong and not give up
May we reach out in love and compassion, finding hope in your abiding presence
Lord have mercy
The following song is from Matt Redman and is a beautiful and meaningful testament in these times of peril for we the children of God. I hope you prayed with Pastor Chuck, and I hope this music brings comfort to you and inspiration to stand up and shine the light of Christ on this world in such desperate need to see it.