Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My thoughts and feelings as I reflect on a tragedy....

On Tuesday morning when I saw the news of the mine explosion in West Virginia that left 25 dead, 2 hospitalized, and 4 more missing, my heart broke and I couldn't help but think of the community that is left mourning the loss of loved ones. The families who wait to hear if there loved ones are alive or if they too will be planning a funeral service in the next few days. The more I read on this tragedy the angrier I become, not only at Massey Energy and Don Blankenship, but at myself, at the world. We forget that each and every time we flick on the lights, plug in our computers, charge our phones, and make ourselves a cup of coffee, we produce a need for more coal. We put the demand on the companies to produce the product, at all cost. It is sad that it takes a tragedy, that it takes 25 men losing their lives in order for us to wake up and realize how corrupt things really are. It is sad that we are not more willing to stand up for our neighbors, for our brothers (and sisters) who work in the mines daily. Maybe this will not only be a wake up call for the mining companies and the regulators, but maybe, just maybe, it will be a wake up call for all of us. Maybe we will start to be more involved in holding people accountable for keeping miners safe, maybe we will start to care about those who provide the source of our comfort... While playing my flute this weekend I came across a hymn that pretty much summed up my feelings, and it is definitely my prayer as we work towards a world where we all work together in achieving justice, peace, and love. O For A World O for a world where everyone respects each others ways, where love is lived and all is done with justice and with praise. O for a world where goods are shared and misery relieved, where truth is spoken, children spared, equality achieved. We welcome one world family and struggle with each choice that opens us to unity and gives our vision voice. The poor are rich, the weak are strong, the foolish ones are wise. Tell all who mourn: outcasts belong, who perishes will rise. O for a world preparing for God’s glorious reign of peace, where time and tears will be no more and all but love will cease. Keeping all miners and their families in my prayers...One thing is for sure...I left more of my heart in Appalachia than I thought I did...but putting together the prayer service for this afternoon really helped me process the situation and center myself in God's word instead of in the things the news has been posting. So I leave with the scriptures from the prayer service... Why should we care? 1 Peter 3:8-9 Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called-that you might be a blessing. What does scripture say about tragedies? Isaiah 57:1-2 The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away while no one understands. For the righteous are taken away from calamity and they enter into peace; those who walk uprightly will rest on their couches. Psalm 126:5-6 May those who sow tears reap with shouts of joy. Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves. Where is God in this? Lamentations 31:32-33 Although he causes grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone. Psalm 125:1-2 Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people, from this time on and forevermore. And lastly our favorite, Isaiah 54:10 For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

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