Thursday, August 09, 2007

Life Wreckage

Earlier this week I was out driving early and within a couple of miles of my house I came upon a wrecked car in a ditch. I immediately pulled over to see if I could be of some help. The car was empty. It had deployed its air bags. I hopped back into my car and resumed driving wondering what happened with the driver and if he or she was okay. Later in the day when I returned up that road the car was gone.

That image has remained in my thinking this week. Of course the news is filled daily with stories of twenty-something rich and famous stars that are constantly wrecking their lives and ending up in rehab. After a while you can become desensitized to life wreckage.

But then you have a phone call or an email or a meeting with real life people in your world who are contending with life wreckage and you’re caused to both care and share in the pain or to cynically harden your heart and go about your business. I want to make a case for the former.

Today, someone in your world has a troubled teen or is a stressed out parent of a toddler or a lover whose heart was broken or is financially wrecked. Someone has received a diagnosis that involved the word “cancer”, has real life addiction rehab or is dealing with the issue of suicide.

You don’t have the power to fix or heal or control someone’s circumstance but you do have the power to care. You may have the opportunity to communicate your concern with your eyes or with a tender word or even a hand on the shoulder. Though caring has its own power to encourage perseverance or hope, it is exponentially multiplied when we care enough to pray.

You don’t have to be demonstrative and raise your hand or voice to pray for someone in pain. Praying silently without anyone else even being aware can be sufficient. It may be helpful to let someone know that you are praying for them. But the main thing is to care enough to call upon God to bring His grace and power into the circumstance of another.

It is during such prayerful encounters that I’m reminded how great God is. Six billion people on the earth and He is so great that He both hears and responds to my (your) simple prayers.

Let’s not just drive by life wreckage today. Let’s pull over and care.

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