Newspaper Prayers: Monday, March 26th

Headlines from the New York Times for Monday, March 26, 2018

This Is What I Do When I Hear the Bombs Explode

(The following is an excerpt from a story by Fatima Faizi, who writes for the New York Times in Afghanistan.)

Whenever I hear a blast go off in my hometown the first thing I do is call my little brother.

Ehsan, 17, is the kind of kid who’s always out — riding his bicycle with a pack of friends, playing pickup soccer on one of Kabul’s dirt fields (grass is a luxury here). My parents and I are always trying to restrain him, warning him to stick to safe places. But he refuses. “Where is there any safe place here? Can you show me? If you can, I will go there.”

So when another bomb went off on Wednesday — on Nowruz, our Persian New Year holiday — my first instinct was to call him. Then I remembered: I had the day off from my job as a reporter in the Kabul bureau of The New York Times, so I was home, and so was my brother. I did a quick mental inventory of my other relatives and my closest friends; everyone was likely safe.

Then I grabbed my notebook and a spare phone battery and went to the scene. I didn’t have to go, my bureau chief said, but I felt I had to go. As usual, I was shaking like wind rustling a treeful of leaves, all over, but I didn’t care.

This would be the eighth suicide bombing I’ve witnessed here in Kabul, and I am sick to death of them.

In some ways it was the worst one I’ve seen, perhaps because one of the first things I noticed was a boy lying on his face, his leg blown off, and from a short distance away he looked just like my little brother. Again, I almost called home to check where Ehsan was, before I remembered I had just left him.

People at the scene were angry and chased away all the other journalists. I guess because I was shaking so much nobody noticed me.

I understand their anger. They don’t want their agony to be material for journalists; in the moment of their awful sorrow, they don’t want their spectacle to be shared by strangers.

Readings from the Gospel of John for Monday, March 26, 2018

The sixth chapter of John presents the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 people with the morsels of a little boy’s lunch. When Jesus spoke with Philip about his desire to feed the hungry crowd, Philip let Jesus know that if they gave everything they had, it would clearly only meet an extremely small portion of the crowd.

They surrendered what little they had to Jesus and he was able to multiply the food so much that they had 12 baskets full of what was left over. Jesus took what was clearly not enough and turned it into abundance.

Think with me today. Is God limited? Can he only re-distribute limited wealth, or can he take what we give him and multiply it to meet the needs of the vulnerable of the earth.

Let’s pray today that individuals and nations will open their resources to those in need around the world. Let’s see God take what little we offer him and turn it into blessings for others.

Prayers for Monday, March 26, 2018

Dear God, please give us faith to trust you with our resources as you use them to bless the vulnerable of the earth.

Bob Spradlingplant-light-1-of-1

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