Death Toll in Egypt

So many people—dead…in a conflict I don’t understand– either historically or experientially.

So many news reports—two or three a day, sometimes more—of the rising death toll…constant reminders of everything I don’t know, everything I am powerless to do.

Oh, for the days of week-long news delays!  What balm those time-lags were on mind, nerves, and heart.  Those grace-filled gaps gave time to decide what to feel, how to think, how to act, if there was action to take.  And if there was no action to take?  The temporal distance assuaged any guilt or grief.

Life was easier when I received my world news once a week.

Now?  This constant barrage of events—of death—demands a decision from my depths every day, every hour—525 more people dead in a conflict I haven’t taken time to understand.  Will that number be the total, or only the tip of the iceberg?  How many people will die in this conflict?  How much of my heart will break for them?  Or not?

Suddenly, I want to know—I need to know–When did I last pray for the people of Egypt?  The people of any country in conflict, or drought, or famine, or political oppression, or abject poverty?  Am I really one of those Christians who neatly excises the parts of the body of Christ that tax my faith?  Am I really one who lops off from my human family tree limbs of those whose experiences drive my prayers too deep?  Do I, in truth, bask in my paralysis?

I don’t want to know!  I don’t want to know!  I don’t want to know!

And yet…

I do know.  Part of me does want to know…I did, after all, sign up for this newsfeed.  So, what can I do with this knowledge?  What must I do with it?

I can pray.  I can pray current prayers, not week-old, stale ones. 

I can pray for mothers grieving the loss of sons, husbands grieving the loss of wives, children grieving the loss of innocence…

I can pray for the people truly paralyzed—by stray bullets, lost dreams, terror…

I can pray for first responders giving aid to the wounded, treating bodies of the newly dead with dignity…

I can pray for imams, priests, and pastors as they help congregants navigate the horror…

I can pray for political leaders—in Egypt and elsewhere—to work together to find a solution that will end the killing…

I can pray for the business owners who never will recover from the economic toll of the conflict…

I can pray for teenagers, whose thoughts and feelings about themselves, their country, the world are being shaped by this violence….

These two, three, four…Five…a day emails…not just death notices.  Also, calls to prayer.

Let us pray, 

About reallifepastor

I'm a pastor who's working out her faith...just like everyone else.
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