“Have you read the news?” the first man asked.
“Sure, I’ve read it. Now how do you want to split this bill?”
“I mean, have you seen about all the people who died in the earthquake and floods?”
“Yah, yah. They were going on about it on CNN this morning. I switched it to TBS. To be honest, I’m tired of it already. Now, look…they charged both rooms to your card. How do you want to take care of it?”
I overheard that conversation in the hotel lobby and I was shocked. More than 100,000 people killed in a moment of time. The death toll continues to climb. Millions of survivors are now homeless. They have lost their friends, neighbors, children, parents. They have had nothing to eat for days. Their entire world was washed from beneath them and he’s tired of it. It is old news. It is just another in a long list of problems and it falls far below splitting the bill for his room.
I stopped listening. I was nauseated. I looked out the window. I looked past the people walking by. I looked past the towering buildings and into the sky and said a short prayer.
Dear God, continue to soften my heart to the suffering and devastation that has occurred. I know it is more than I will ever begin to understand but help me never to grow weary in the face of your children’s pain.
Dear God, make me an instrument of grace to those who need grace. My heart’s compassion is only as real as my life’s action. Show me what to do and where to go. Show me what to give and give me the power to act.
Dear God, I ask today that you would be present.
In a world torn by war and death, be present.
In the hearts of those who have no hope, be present.
In the minds of people who seek in vain, be present.
In the lives of those who have hardened their hearts, be present.
Please show your face.
Please reveal your grace.