Global Mourning of Olympic Proportions

Two natural disasters bring us to our knees

orget global warming for the moment.
It’s global mourning that should grip our hearts.
Hundreds of thousands are homeless.
Countless have been killed.

Our wounded planet bleeds and weeps.
Myanmar and China will bear the scars of this disaster
years after bodies have been buried and homes rebuilt.

Weeks before Beijing hosts the Olympic Games,
a test of strength is being played out before the world.

A Herculean effort is underway in both nations to stay on track
and field a team to help those swimming in their sorrow.
Staying the course will be more like a marathon than a dash.

Clearing the hurdles of governmental red tape requires amazing skill.
The hurdles are so high they have already tripped up
international relief efforts that heartbreakingly fall short.

Still, a relay race continues
to find missing bodies and belongings beneath the rubble.

The weight of this unprecedented tragedy is too heavy to lift.
An upper cut followed by a left hook has left millions reeling.
Mother Nature has unmercifully pinned them to the mat.

There is no doubt their medal is being tested.
And come August,
the thrill of victory will likely be drowned out
by the agony of defeat.
The deafening echo of personal pain
that’s tied to human loss.

With all this in mind, our hearts turn Godward.
While some Olympic-hopefuls look forward to their trials,
the hopeless in Myanmar and China look back on theirs.
Trials that convict our consciences and stretch our compassion.

To that end, while runners take their mark in starting blocks,
we would do well to start assuming a posture of prayer.