Good Morning, God!
Flying over the Hawaiian Islands never ceases to delight me. As Mark Twain wrote: “The loveliest fleet of islands that lies anchored in any ocean.” Flying right over Molokai — looking down and seeing how narrow it is — how green the East End is and how isolated Kalaupapa is. How appalling to think of “lepers” of all ages being tossed over board to swim ashore — if they could.
It was fear, God. Fear still gets us to do horrible things to one another. I hate to admit it, God, but often it doesn’t even take a really big fear — like fear for our lives or even safety. Sometimes it is just the unnoticed fear of “social pressure.” We are social animals. We need to belong. Even if what we have to do to belong diminishes our humanity.
Hmm. This should be where You come in, God! You long to welcome us. Redeem us. Transform us. Sigh. Most of us are not exactly walking advertisements for Your Love. G.K. Chesterton had it right when he said, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” Thank You for Father Damien, God! Thank You for those who love and act.
You have told us that when we feed the hungry, cloth the naked, and visit those in prison, we do it unto YOU. Even a cup of water given to the thirsty — has meaning. How much more, then, does the gift of HOPE have meaning. Father Damien gave the lepers the Hope of Your Love.
I still have hope, God, that You are not done with me. That hope is not without a little fear, for I don’t want to be like Father Damien! But, knowing there is little chance of THAT, I can say Your Will be Done!
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