Tuesday, July 13, 2010

degrees of separation . . .

I thought about this a lot during the night. In fact, I wrote this in my head, over and over, in between snatches of sleep. The degrees of separation between me (any of us) and the things that happen all over this world. Most specifically, in this case, the terrorist bombings that happened in Uganda on Sunday.

Since we've been staying at Hunter Road, we really haven't watched television, mainly because we don't have a working antenna television (we do have a tv and dvd player that work) and we don't have cable or a satellite dish, and there really wasn't any need for just the 12 weeks we'd be here. And besides, mainly what our television gets turned on for is news. Todd gets tv at the fire station, and that's been enough for him.

I preface with that to say that I'm a little out of the loop. I'm not seeing daily world news like I used to, and though I do check out my local WHNT station online, it tends to list mostly local news, which is typically fine with me. But I didn't hear about the terrorist bombings in Uganda on Sunday. Not until later, when my sister sent me a text about it.

So you're thinking okay, you missed news about a pair of bombings. Why is this a big deal? I mean, other than the fact that it's a terrible injustice and a tragedy to those innocents on whom it was inflicted -- why is this bombing different?

Degrees of separation.

I have a niece -- a darling young lady, who just graduated from high school in Maryland -- who has a younger classmate named Emily Kerstetter, who went with her grandmother's Pennsylvania church on a mission trip to Uganda. They stayed an extra week, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer:
. . . to finish a wall protecting their sister congregation's church and school in Kampala - in particular, one missionary said, to shield children from a scourge that haunts Uganda: ritual child sacrifice.
And Emily, along with the others on her team, were sitting in the same restaurant that terrorists chose to plant and detonate a bomb under a random table. And Emily was seriously injured in that bombing, as were others of her group.

Two degrees separated me and the Uganda bombings. That's all, two. My niece and Emily. And it occurred to me last night as I prayed for Emily and her family and the rest of the mission team, that this really is a small world. That in essence, that bombing didn't happen over there, but it happened to people with whom I have a connection.

Five minutes before that bomb blast, Emily is reported to have said that she was going to cry so hard because she didn't want to leave [Kampala]. She wanted to stay the rest of the summer there.

Along with prayers for healing and comfort, the Lord prompted me to pray for Emily's tender spirit. To pray that when the question, "Why God?" comes (and most likely, it will come), that the enemy wouldn't find a foothold in that question and use it to push her away from God. But instead, that she would draw strength and comfort from the Lord, and would seek to be ever closer to Him. That this trauma would strengthen her resolve to be about the Lord's work, and that through this, she would come to have absolute faith that He truly does cause all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

In Jesus' name.


2 expressed . . .:

Cathy Shepherd said...


Asiyah said...

Wow. That is really powerful. Really brings it home when you really consider the situation.