Thursday, October 30, 2014


This was the first thing I saw on my Facebook feed this morning ---

I've thought about this picture quite a bit today. I've thought about how much I don't want to be that guy.... how we are not called to close ourselves off from others. Yet we do. In lots of ways. We close ourselves off from others emotionally in many ways and for many reasons. We put ourselves in isolation... and that is truly to work of the devil.

Ebola is scary. No doubt about it. I don't want it. I don't want to be exposed to it. The precautions that must be taken are difficult, but necessary.

However, I don't want to live my life in paralyzing fear. Watching the news over the past several weeks, I've been struck by how fear and panic have dominated the various reports about ebola. I have not seen or heard much compassion or concern for those afflicted, especially for the entire populations in parts of Africa who are being decimated by this horrible disease.

We are allowing ourselves to become people of fear and selfishness rather than people of love and compassion. That is not how God wants us to live. He has promised us His faithful protection and has called us to put Love first in our lives always. When we are gripped by fear and wanting to close ourselves off from all that is happening in the world, may we have the trust and grace to look outside of ourselves and into the eyes of those who are hurting and need our help.

Please join me in praying this beautiful prayer composed by a Methodist pastor:

A Prayer for Those Affected by Ebola

Gracious God, we call you the Great Physician.
We pray your healing power to touch those bodies that now shake with fever,

ache with pain, and are too weak to sustain the demands of life.

Gracious God, we know you are a Mighty God. 
Grant access to medical care for the most vulnerable in West Africa. 
Protect doctors and nurses who kneel at the bedsides of the sick and the dying.
Provide resources in places of lack.  Guide churches and church leaders. 
Empower all who work tirelessly to be Christ’s hands and feet.

Gracious God, we believe you are Hope for the hopeless. 
Hold parents who’ve lost children. 
Gently father and mother children who’ve lost their parents.  
Make your presence known to those who are dying alone, in the streets, in wastelands, without friends or family.  Speak tenderly to all who feel abandoned by the world’s governments and systems of power. Give strength to our friends in West Africa who feel that “life more abundantly” is an unfulfilled promise.

Gracious God, we know you are the Light overcoming darkness.
Why should we be afraid?

Help us, O God, to trust in your unchanging nature in times of uncertainty.

Grant us peace that Ebola or anything in this life that would threaten to undo us, is not impossible for you.

Hear our prayer.

Excerpted from, “A Litany in Response to UMCOR’s Call to Pray for Those Affected by the Ebola Epidemic” by the Rev. Frederick Yebuah for The United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

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