I am a parish minister currently serving the Eliot Church of Natick MA. Eliot Church is a Community Church affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. Any statements made and postions held in "Unity," however, are solely mine(of course, they may be used with appropriate atribution). Therefore if you disagree, please do not blame the church!

Thursday, December 30, 2004


Of course, like everyone else I have been thinking a lot about the Tsunami/Earthquake tradgedy that has dominated our news over the past few days. Today it is Indonesia and Sumatra Island that seem to be the large stories. Of course, it is hard to rest the mind on one specific detail. The magnitude of this event is, for many of us, impossible to grasp. We can try to compare the numbers of dead and injured to quatntities we understand. Earlier we were talking about a population the size of Natick. Now we are talking about Worcester. By the time we are done we will be comparing the casualties to the population of Boston.

It is during moments like this that many of us can feel rather peripheral to world events. We go throught the motions of our own lives, struggling with whatever crises come our way. Every once in a while it strikes us that our problems don't add up to that famous "hill of beans" when compared against the suffering of others. This is one of those times.

"What can I do?" This is a question we must ask ourselves. Ask this question and then pray on it. Then ask again, "What can I do?" There is very little that they do not need right now. You can give money, of course. Is your church doing anything? If you go to they have a way to give money to the UU Service Committee's tsunami relief fund. You may also think of some other ways to help, too. Not everyone can put their work aside to volunteer in Indonesia, but there are, no doubt, opportunites here in the US, too. Of course, you can also pray. Prayer matters certainly in a time like this.

This is a disaster. It will not be the last the world will see. As we reach out to help, do not forget to feel the motions of your heart and soul. In moments of immense turmoil such as this, we find out who we really are and what we value. Cry if you need to, hug your kids, be human. It is a hard time for all of us. Or, at least, it should be. Let every single person cry out to God and ask "how" and "why". Let us all wrestle with the problem of suffering and try to find a solution to the suffering we see today.

Although it may sound strange these days to say it, we really are one large community on a very small planet. The fact that we may not know the victims doesn't matter at all. They are family. Therefore, let us remember no only to help but to pray and to care. The fact that we can feel the pain of those who live so far away is what, in the end may save us all.

Yours in Faith and Hope,