LORD, HAVE MERCY

This morning I awakened early. I went downstairs, turned on the coffee pot, and picked up a book. Wave: One woman’s account of her pain and suffering incurred by the 2004 Tsumani.

One woman’s account. And 230,000 died.

This woman, a Londoner visiting a Sri Lankan beach, lost her two sons, her husband, and her parents.

And she lost her mind. I am feeling, as I read, the weight and the depths of one woman’spain.

And I think to myself, when was the last time I thought of the Tsunami? This was nine years ago. People are still today, in 2013,  suffering the effects of this natural disaster. They are grieving their lost loved ones. Destitute from lost economic opportunity. Riddled with anxiety, grief and lingering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms. Nine years later.

Yet-my present world is ladened with news of the NOW: war, raging in Syria.  Churches burning in Egypt. The starving, oppressed in North Korea.  The young girls in India, sold into brothels so their families can eat.

This is my now.

But I figure, I woke up for a reason, so I say a prayer for the Tsunami survivors. How can I keep up, how can I carry the pains of the past along with my present burden?

Past pain. Present pain.

And yes, there is a future pain.

I glance at the brochure that just came in the mail: one of the best clinical conferences in the world: the Midwest Conference on Childhood Sexual Abuse Treatment.

And the world, for a moment,

seems dim.

because I know, I may be in practice for the next 30 years. 

And I think tragic as it is,

as I go off to brush up on my training,

I am preparing for what is to come.

Just as there will be natural disasters that hit again, there will be perpetrators of violence with global impact.  And there will be perpetrators of violent acts yet to take place in homes where children think they are safe.

And while some times I doubt, I know and choose to believe:

God’s intervention into this pain–past, present and future– is timeless.  And just as the suffering of the past is healed by the prayers of the present, the future ills of the world can be healed, and even thwarted by one phrase.

Lord, have mercy.