Radio Leicester Thought for the Day

John Denney, 6 February 2001


There are some things that just take your breath away.  England’s majestic Rugby win on Saturday afternoon was exhilarating.  Leicester City’s win over Chelsea was no less inspiring.  The achievement of solo round-the-world yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur in making up the deficit and getting close to the lead of  the Vendee Globe race gladdens our hearts.  Sporting accomplishments take us out of the everyday world for a little while and give us a glimpse of nobler things, of the spirit of human endeavour and the will to achieve.


But the best news of the last few days must be the amazing rescue of the middle-aged brother and sister, ten days after the terrible earthquake in Gujarat.  Two people saved, against all the odds, yet an untold number – perhaps 30,000 (who knows?) – who died.  It was providential for those two, with access to water and food under the rubble of their ruined apartment.


Can we imagine what it has been like for them since that mighty earthquake struck?  Did their hopes of rescue dwindle away as day followed night followed day?  Were they preparing themselves for an inevitable death when they heard movement above the ruins that trapped them?  How their hopes must suddenly have been raised as the rescuers scraped away at the debris that entrapped them.  And then, human contact at last!  Voices, and faces, and strong arms to pull them free.


God loves all of His children, wherever and whoever they are.  Jesus taught that God cares when even a sparrow dies, and reminded us that we are worth much more than a mere sparrow.  God knows the very number of hairs on our heads, He cares so much.  Our loving Father grieves for the suffering of the people He created, and He knows every one by name, you and me and the victims in Gujarat.


And yet we so often feel helpless in the face of disaster, especially when that disaster is on the other side of the world.  Few of us are able to go out and help directly.  So what can we do?  Obviously we can give our money, however little, to the appeal launched by the Disasters Emergency Committee or perhaps through our place of worship.  And we can pray for the relief of suffering and the provision of shelter and food and medicines and all the things the survivors need.


This is a time for us to be Good Samaritans.


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