As my Facebook wall lights up with updates about the earthquake in Japan and subsequent tsunamis across the Pacific, I feel called to prayer. I am praying for the friends of friends who have not been heard from yet. I am praying for the people of Japan and for all the people who have been affected by natural disasters large and small in recent months.
I'm thinking about the Quaker discussion group I'm going to lead this evening and what sort of Bible readings I'm going to bring to them. As I reread those sections in the gospels where Jesus is talking about how God looks after the birds and how we're worth more than birds. I'm looking at different passages and translations and my mind is captivated with the sort of duality of the message: we are not to worry about feeding, clothing, and housing ourselves, because it is the state of our souls that is important, yet we are to be concerned with feeding, clothing and housing the poor.
I am against war, torture and the death penalty. I believe that each life is precious and irreplaceable. I'm not totally convinced that there is an afterlife and I'm pretty sure if there is that there isn't an eternal firey pit of hell to be avoided. All that being said, I think that our lives are but a brief moment in the life of God and that the treasures of heaven and the Kingdom of God are so much more valuable than your life on earth, or mine.
Fortunately, I believe that there are many ways to get right with God and access the Kingdom and that those paths are designed and lit by a Guide that is too holy for any human mind to fully comphrehend. I am comforted by the idea that God loves us, loves the true, important parts of us, ie, our souls, and while our bodies and buildings may perish, our souls are held in his hands like the sparrows Christ spoke of to the disiples when he walked among us in a fragile body like ours.