An Email: "Short Sighted Love – Pray for Japan"

Sometimes I’d like to ask God why He allows poverty, injustice, and famine when He could do something about it. But I’m afraid He might ask me the same question. — Unknown

If I am moved but choose not to respond, won’t I soon harden, unable to respond? — Ann Voskamp

I awoke this morning to God’s email. How often do we wish He communicated just like that? Like you, I have prayed over the images of Japan, watched in horror as one man tried to explain today’s tragedy, “It’s Hiroshima again–for me, it’s Hiroshima again.”

The images are horrific — a hell on earth for those suffering. I have poured over organizations to give to and walked away with my change still jingling in my pocket because I can’t find one I can trust. 

That’s not good enough. I have to trust enough to give.

There are two that I feel confident recommending:

1) Samaritan’s Purse

How can I give until it hurts? Perhaps you are like me: Your checkbook has had that little dash before the numbers every once in a while. Your car needs some TLC, an article in the paper says property taxes are going up, and you aren’t quite smiling while you fill your gas tank.

Perhaps you are like me: Eating Mac & Cheese with a side of applesauce for dinner and wishing it was a little more gourmet.

Perhaps, like me, you’ve realized: Peanut butter doesn’t kill and when eaten with jelly has the phenomenal power to take you back to childhood. Free time travel. 

You’ve had enough of continuous consumption and you hunger, desire, crave to live further than yourself. This is the call, fellow sojourners. The point in this life of ours: We get to pattern our lives after Jesus through obedient sacrificing for others.

I have some gift cards here I’ve been saving for a new computer. But aren’t I typing? Isn’t my voice projecting in black and white just fine? Would I really stand in front of that child and say: I’m so sorry. I’ve been saving these for something new so that I can write and tell people about God.

When given the chance…I’d rather show Jesus. Again, we live in a latitude and longitude of immense pocket change. 

Here’s my email sermon from God, written by the hands of sweet friends to my husband and I: 


“My heart aches for the people of Japan.  The devastation from the earthquake, tsunami and now threat of radiation is difficult to imagine.  I have been praying, as I’m sure you have, that God would show his mercy and allow the impending nuclear disaster to be averted.  Please, Father, have mercy on Japan.

Last night, as I was praying with my wife, I realized that my burden for Japan was not great enough.  Even though I have been frequently checking news sources and praying as updates come in, even if I could fly to Japan and help with the search and rescue teams or provide enough money for shelter and food, it would not be enough…

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:36).

I should be concerned when my love for others is short sighted.  What is my best-case scenario for people, to be healthy and happy like the elite of Hollywood, to have a stable government and good income?  Even if I could solve the problems of poverty, hunger, and water would that be enough?  If a chemist found the cure for cancer and AIDS would that be sufficient?

…My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.    John 10:27,28 states that Christianity is a minority religion in Japan, with less than 1% and possibly less than one-half of one percent of the Japanese population claiming Christian belief or affiliation”.  Does this break my heart as much as the earthquake or tsunami?  Do I stay up late at night worrying about it?  Do I check whatever sources I can find to see how things are going?…”

Thanks for reading segments of what stirred me to action early this morning.

I pray that God moves you to give until it makes you uncomfortable. There is freedom in this. There is Jesus in this. And more than anything, the love of Jesus — the healing touch of Jesus — immediately preceded the words of Good News taught by Jesus.


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