Reading news stories about the atrocities in Iraq is not a good way to begin a Monday morning.
My stomach feels weak.
My heart feels heavy.
And the memories of a great weekend with my family make me feel guilty.
We talked about the horrors of terrorism while walking through the amusement park Saturday, deeply aware that while we were happily walking from one ride to the next there were people on the other side of the world fleeing to mountains and hiding in caves in order to try to stay alive.
I feel helpless.
I envision a big meeting where everyone can just talk about their feelings and somehow come to an agreement, but deep inside I know this situation requires much more than a meaningful conversation.
So what can I do from my little house in my little town in America?
How can I help these men, women, and children who are being kidnapped, raped, and murdered because of their beliefs?
I close my eyes and try to pray.
Words bounce around in my head mixed with a few photographs I've been brave enough to look at;
but the words seem trite, almost empty.
I hear these words running through my mind,
"If God cares, surely He doesn't need my prayer in order to do something."
Is this really me thinking these thoughts?
Am I doubting God's compassion?
I would have to lie in order to answer these questions in a way that makes me look good, because
I do find myself wondering why He hasn't wiped this evil from the world yet?
I do find myself longing for Him to work a miracle so big the whole world falls to their knees to praise Him.
This morning I'm overwhelmed by the news,
yet deep inside I don't believe God is.
That's the only reason I'm able to face today with any kind of peace and hope.
I'll keep mumbling my way through prayers that seem tiny and insignificant, because I do believe that in the midst of all the horror across the sea, God is working.
He does care.
He is there.
And my prayers matter.
Yours do too.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.