Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I read the news every day. It comes to me in two daily emails from the Overseas Security Advisory Council: Global Security News. I read about volcanic eruptions, monsoons, earthquakes, floods, droughts, fires, mud slides, Mafia crime waves, coups, strikes, terrorism, civil war, corruption, etc. Why? So I can keep the stewarding churches of our missionaries and our missionaries informed of possible danger to them or determine if there is some way I can help some missionary somewhere because of the situation they find themselves in. I get emails from missionaries needing help, from churches asking for resources or help. I am now receiving emails for help through Facebook. With the economic times, I’m getting emails from former students, returned missionaries, former ministers, asking if I know a resource to help them. Some are losing their homes…some are on the edge of homelessness – they need rent for next month. By the time the Jim Lehrer Report is over in the evening, I’m sometimes just about done in – no more! A fellow Missionary Care Director I am mentoring, who shared with me some tough decisions he and his agency’s personnel manager are going to have to make, commented to me this last week: “Our work is inundated with problems – there are just so many problems in the world!” I had to agree. When I worked at York College and was the head of the Counseling Center, I used to walk home through a park and see the blades of grass. One day I thought, “There are as many problems in the world as there are blades of grass.” Now I always think that thought when I look down at the grass. So we rejoice when good happens – a pilot safely lands a damaged air-craft on the Hudson River – a captain is rescued from pirates - Is it any wonder that Susan Boyle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxPZh4AnWyk) has taken the world by storm? Every time I have listened to her sing, tears stream down my face. I think The National Catholic Weekly explains why:

The way we see Susan Boyle is very nearly the way God sees us: worthwhile,
special, talented, unique, beautiful. The world generally looks askance at
people like Susan Boyle, if it sees them at all. Without classic good
looks, without work, without a spouse, living in a small town, people like
Susan Boyle may not seem particularly "important." But God sees
the real person, and understands the value of each individual's gifts: rich or
poor, young or old, single or married, matron or movie star, lucky or unlucky in
life. God knows us. And loves us. "Everybody is somebody"
said Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan at his installation Mass in New York City
yesterday. That's another reason why the judges smile and the audience
explodes in applause.

I think for the same reason, every now and then, I go to our RHCC web-site and look at the Cardboard Testimonies again (http://www.rhchurch.org/pages/cardboard-testimonies/) Human beings are Eikons of God. God wants no images made of Himself because He has already made one – us! There is something intrinsically valuable about every human being. Every human being can become a testimony to God’s great love for us. And for that reason, we never give up.