ON TODAY'S SITE:
Sue Monk Kidd, Book of Luke, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I recently was sent a link to a program comprised of secret video shot inside
North Korea. This courageous man slips in and out of his country to show the
world what is really going on there.* What we witness are untold listless and
malnourished orphans. We watch them picking up grains of rice off the ground
as around them adults are eating and drinking.
While we know that numerous
adults also are starving in North Korea, it's still flabbergasting to watch these
desperate children ignored by grownups who probably have children of their
own. Are their hearts hardened by their own deprivation, too worn out even to
acknowledge the children's humanity, or have the people of this nation dis-
connected from their souls? We who have not walked in their shoes cannot
judge, but we can look inward and face when we may have disconnected
from the deep suffering of others. We can vow to make our hearts
available to them, for surely all humanity sinks or floats as one.
* North Korea Documentary: Children of the Secret State
Warning: Contains very disturbing content.
Please include the people of North Korea in your prayers.
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Watercolor by Beth Vendryes Williams Make Art. Transform Life
On a bitter night in January, I sit on a train that rumbles away
from the airport in Atlanta ... I'm supposed to be flying home
to South Carolina, but minutes before my departure, the
entire airport closed because of an impending ice storm ...
It's a long ride ... Soon there are only three of us. A middle-aged
woman sits across from me. I look at her for the first time and
notice that she's crying. As she wipes tears with the back of her
hand, her gaze lingers on my face ... She's asking for my attention.
... I feel sad for her, but what can I do? She's carrying her own
troubles and I can't fix them ... I look away from her, retreating
into the murmur of the train. Quietly, uncomfortably unavailable.
... The second night she comes powerfully into my dreams. She
sits across from me, this time in a rowboat. Her tears gush over
the tiny precipice of her eyelids like waterfalls. The boat is
filling up with this sad water, and I realize that if I don't
do something, we're going to sink. Both of us ...
The dream cracks my heart, and I wake with solemn
wonder, reunited with an old truth: People with
profound human needs and suffering do not, as
I have half-imagined and half-wished, travel in a
boat separate than mine. In ways I have scarcely
appreciated, we are all in the same boat, and I
can't be unavailable to their suffering without
jeopardizing my own soul. We will sink
together or we will float together.
Excerpted from "firstlight,"
by Sue Monk Kidd
Guideposts Books, 2006
Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem
to Jericho, and he fell among robbers who stripped him
and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now
by chance, a priest was going down that road; and when
he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a
Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed
by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed,
came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had
compassion, and went to him and bound up his
wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set
him on his own beast and brought him to
an inn, and took care of him."
The Holy Bible
Revised Standard Version
The Last Word:
The first question which the priest and the Levite asked
was: "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?"
But ... the good Samaritan reversed the question: "If I do
not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)
American Baptist minister and civil rights leader
Random Bonus Quote:
Boredom is the feeling that everything is
a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.
Thomas Szasz (1920 - )
American academic and psychiatrist
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