Friday, March 18, 2011

Christian Writers Blog Chain: Swirling

I couldn't think of much else this week except the swirling waters of Japan. A terrible tragedy. There are no words to describe it and really no way of fully understanding, short of first hand experience, what the people of Japan are going through. To be honest, it frightens me a little knowing I am not exempt from tragedy. Though I may never experience a tsunami there are countless other disasters, natural and created, I may some day be unfortunate enough to encounter. In this world there seems an infinite number of ways in which to die or suffer loss.

However, though the loss of Japan has touched me I am affected even more by the swirl of emotion mixed with the swirl of human goodness that always seems to come out in times of trouble. People helping people, the way it should always be. Why, for some of us, does it take a hardship to bring it to light? Maybe when we are faced with the instability of our lives, and everything we held dear is gone, we realize there is more. We become one with those who share our circumstance. Caring for them is caring for ourselves.

For us, still here in the perceived safety of the United States, does it wake us just a little to the fragility of human life? Or are we so detached from the situation that we just don't care, or really take notice. Then again, who have we noticed today?

With all the comments floating around the web you may have seen a few "help vs. don't help" discussions. I have, and they all brought to mind the question, "Who is my neighbor?" Who should I love as myself? Jesus' response to this question, when voiced by an expert of the law, was a parable. The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37).

You may have heard the story. A man beaten and robbed, left at the side of the road. He was dying and yet ignored even by those of the church, too busy going about their daily lives to care. But then a man, one who would have probably been spit upon by the beaten gent had he had the strength, stopped, and yes, lent a hand. He did so when no one else would. So Jesus, in his normal manner, ended the story with a question.

vs. 36 "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"

Did you catch it? See how Jesus worded it? "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man?" Being a neighbor doesn't mean you live next door or even in the same town, or state, or country. It isn't even about who your neighbor is, but it is all about who you have been a neighbor to.

vs. 37 The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."

Mercy, and we see it in the faces of those who though losing everything, still continue to give. It is the little bit of God that swirls out, regardless of our beliefs. It is the part of Him, whose image we are all created in. And the good news - you don't need to wait for tragedy to be a neighbor. Look around you, opportunity exists everywhere. A neighbor is not only a state of being, it is a state of having done. So maybe "neighbor" is a verb too? :)

So, using the phrase I learned last month... Go verb your noun!! :)
God Bless!

This post was part of the Christian Writers Blog Chain! Please visit the links to the right for more amazing posts on the topic of  "swirling"!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful post, Sarah Grace! May it touch many hearts and lives. You've definitely touched mine.

Debra Ann Elliott said...

Stopping by from CW Blog Chain

Thank you so much for sharing this great reminder. A lot of people forget Japan is our neighbor and WWJD. Great take on the topic swirling.

TraciB said...

Wonderful post, Sarah. It takes me back to the days following Katrina, when lots of people were neighbors to us - donating money, clothing, kitchen items, cleaning supplies, even a couple of boxes of toiletries mailed to me from friends half the continent away. We were blessed by friends and strangers alike, and the memory of it chokes me up even now, almost 6 years later.

E. G. Lewis said...

Great post. As we are reminded over and over, our only security is in the hands of God. It's a shame that it takes tragedy to bring out the best in people.
Peace and Blessings

Nona King said...

So true, and such a great and timely reminder. You have yourself an excellent post here. Welcome to the CW Blog Chain. :) Thank you for sharing these insights and questions.

Chris Perdue said...

Great post. We should all ask ourselves the question while considering Jesus' definition: are we a neighbor to others?

Adam Collings said...

I know a couple of are living as missionaries in Japan. The whole thing has shaken them badly. I think those of us in other countries have no concept of how bad this really is.

I love the way you suggested that the word neighbour should be a verb. Great one.

Victor Travison said...

Thanks for a great reminder, Debra. The fragility of life should never be taken for granted. Even if we're hale and hearty today, we never know whether our life will be snuffed out tomorrow. Knowing the Lord now, we can always be ready to meet Him, no matter when or how quickly He calls us Home.

I know I've been thinking about this a lot lately.

~ VT

Sheila said...

Well said. Weird thing--in response to the Pentalk challenge for the week, I wrote a poem that echoes some of the things you have said. Perhaps not so weird because this great tragedy is on the minds of so many. If you haven't read it and would like to, it's here:
Sarah, excellent post on such a heart-breaking tragedy.

lynnmosher said...

Sarah, wonderful post! Great thoughts, out of swirling, to remind us who to *neighbor*!

Chris Depew said...

I'm a little late here, but great post. Mercy is a something we can all use at times. Now we just need to do more giving of mercy and less getting.

Keith Wallis said...

Nice piece Sarah. Though I suspect 'swirling' isn't quite the right word for a tsunami as they appear to be unidirectional (in and out). There is no doubt that those who suffer it are in a total swirl emotionally.

Sarah said...

Thank you so much everyone for stopping by and for all the great comments!! :D

Tracy Krauss said...

Hey Sarah! I just awarded you the 'Stylish Blogger' Award. Go check it out at my blog and then pass it on if you want to. My blog is