Saturday, January 17, 2009

Make your ears tingle

Barbara Crafton is an Episcopal priest from New Jersey who spends a lot of time in Italy. She sends out a daily email to her friends called the Geranium Farm, and she maintains a website called She is really cool.

Barbara plants a lot of seeds. This one came in this week:
Use The Power You Have

"See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle. "
1 Samuel 3:11

Now, there's a colorful expression. Our ears are tingling right now, in fact, every time we turn on the radio for the latest news from the Holy Land. Where can it end, we ask each other. How much worse can it get? What is the way out?

I don't envy your new president, someone says at dinner, and all the Americans nod soberly. An economy in tatters, war in two countries, and worse news from Gaza every day -- the conflict in Gaza has already cost more than 1,000 lives since December and the fighting continues. Such intractable problems, and so huge. No wonder inaugurations begin and end with prayers.

Those entrusted with the leadership of nations carry a heavy and lonely load --heavier than the one we carry. They also wield more power than we do, of course. But we have the power we have, and all of us -- the great and the ordinary -- have our power for a reason. It's to use for the good. None of us are here for ourselves alone. We are here for each other.

We can't be the ones negotiating a ceasefire, but we can pray for one. We can't be on the ground caring for the wounded or comforting the bereaved or housing, but we can support those who are. Episcopal Relief & Development remains in constant touch with the Bishop of Jerusalem, the Rt. Rev. Suheil S. Dawani and with Al Ahli Hospital central Gaza City. The hospital is now treating more than 50 injured civilians every day. The hospital staff is working around the clock to provide emergency medical care. Recently, the hospital finally received a delivery of desperately needed medicine, supplies, blankets, and food -- the ongoing fighting makes such deliveries difficult and dangerous. Episcopal Relief & Development also continues to send funds to help the hospital meet the rising costs of treating patients.

This is our work. Others carry it out for us, but we fund it through our ER&D donations. It literally cannot happen without us.

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