My mind dizzies hearing explanations of tectonic plate shifts. Images run across my internal screen as I think of Japan, New Zealand, Chile, Haiti... Or as I walk along those giant holes in NYC and imagine the frenzied minutes and days after 9/11/01.
Time and again the ancient prayer rises: kyrie eleison. And I am grateful for that beautifully layered song offered by companions on the way at St. Lydia's tonight.
Someone at worship tonight remarked how most of us just move from one tragedy to the next... She spoke in gratitude that our dozen is about to embark on a trip to a place at risk of being edged out by the latest two or three disasters. In her acknowledgment of the "moving on" mentality, my conversation partner realized that at least generally-speaking we are a people with rather limited attention spans. We, the privileged, easily tire of others' suffering. We move on as an order toward self-protection. And when we give the weariness a name ("compassion fatigue") some among us actually hope that our turning away might somehow be seen as reasonable, if not altogether necessary.
Yet the call is to be present, to "see" with eyes and hearts. Thus, our little group heads off in a few hours for Haiti. We go not to fix anything, but to be present; to see and to be. We go forgetting our perfect offerings. In and above all, we trust the One who has gone ahead of us. And we delight in the good news that grace abounds all the more...