Friday, March 11, 2011

Why I'm Not Thinking About Japan

The images on the television screen this morning look like something Steven Spielberg put together after drinking one too many cups of coffee. Massive rivers of water wiping out everything in their sight, following an 8.9 earthquake in Japan. Already hundreds are confirmed dead, and the numbers are sure to rise. It's happening half a world away, yet the world seems to get smaller as information travels faster. As they talking heads on the morning news programs interview people affected by the tragedy, they say in their most compassionate voices, "We're all thinking about you."

Will somebody explain to me what that means? "I'll be thinking about you?" I'm thinking about lunch today, too. I'm thinking about how good that ham and cheese sandwich will taste. I'm thinking about the work I have ahead of me this afternoon. I'm thinking about the dusting I need to do around the house. Yet in Japan, hundreds of people are dying, hundreds are missing, and you're thinking about them? Spare me.

Thoughts aren't going to save anybody. Thoughts aren't going to bring hope or healing. Thoughts, according to Webster's dictionary are "opinions" or "judgments." Do hurting people really need our opinions? What they need is action. They need our prayers. They need friends thousands of miles away who will take a moment to get on their knees and intercede. In the coming days and weeks ahead, they will need the support of prayer warriors who will do more than just "think" or "send good thoughts."

Japan will be all the talk around the office water cooler, in the coffee shops, barber shops, and bars across the United States today. Opinions will be formed and judgments will be made. Hours will be spent considering the news, posting the latest updates on Facebook, surfing YouTube at work for the latest videos, and shaking our heads while we're fixated on the horrific images.

Yet how much time will we devote to action? How much time are we willing to put into doing something useful for very real people who are suffering through a very real hurt?

Let's stop thinking and start praying.

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