Friday, April 4, 2014

Under the Same Sky


Sometimes I stand in the street surrounded by spring beauty and orderly houses and I know I am safe, and the only thing I have to worry about is keeping Lily's hand firmly in mine.  It feels like this is the only reality and this must be how the whole world must be.

But I look up in the sky and I think about all those 7 billion people standing under the same sky, yet living in such different worlds.



And am I thinking these days about those in North Korea, who are also made of the same flesh and blood and bones that I am made of, and looking up at the same sky, and yet living in a world I cannot even comprehend.

I read this book a couple of weeks ago:


I learned that in one small country, all 25 million people are living as prisoners, starving and hopeless and beaten and frightened and desperate.

And I stand in my middle-class neighborhood and I am struck by the absolute absurdity of how it is even possible that those of us crammed into this tiny planet and looking up at the same sky can live in such vastly different worlds.

We know it's there.  We know it's there, right?  We know that people are suffering, we know that we are the richest people in the world, and we know that as followers of Christ, we are supposed to care.  We are supposed to care, and we are supposed to do something, and we do care, but we don't know what something we are supposed to do.

So we wring our hands and we share articles on Facebook and we get all teary when we read them.   And maybe we'll send money or shoes or a Christmas shoebox.  But then we go back to our TV shows and washing the dishes and cutting out coupons and going to the gym because what else can we do?  And sometimes we want to forget because thinking about suffering people is just too hard.

But as I thought about North Korea this week I was forced to consider:

Do I care?

and

Do I believe in the power of God?

If I answer yes to those questions then the next logical question has to be:

Then why am I not praying more?



And I started thinking about the way that I pray and how I pray and how much time I pray about which subjects.  And I started thinking about all the prayer meetings I have been to and all the things that we pray about in them.

Please pray for my husband's safety on his business trip.

And another North Korean Christian is dragged off to be tortured for owning a Bible.

Pray that God would heal us from these colds that are running through our family.

And a 14-year-old sex slave in Thailand spends another night chained to a bed, being raped by 40 men.

Pray that escrow closes on our house.

And Saeed Abedini  is beaten in prison in Iran.

Pray that my daughter gets into this college.

And a baby is aborted for having Downs Syndrome.

Pray that God would heal my back pain.

And a South Sudanese family is once again forced to run while their village is bombed.  

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Of course, we are to pray about colds and escrow and back pain.  Of course.  He numbers the hairs on our heads; He cares about the details of our lives; nothing is too small or too big for Him.

But may we look up into the sky and think about all the people under it, people who are living so very differently than our neat, orderly neighborhoods.

Do I care?  

Do I believe in the power of God?

Resolve with me, my friends, to pray for the world like their lives and souls depend on it.

Because they do.


Photo credits: Gil Medina

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