New Perspectives: Do Not Despair – by Rev. Heather McCarrel

Photo by Dave Goudreau/Unsplash

It was a damp, cool and foggy morning; perfect for a walk through the park.  As we quietly strolled past the tall bare trees draped in mist and over small wooden bridges almost swamped by the over flowing streams I thought how perfect this weather fit my mood.

The recent headlines had left a fog hanging over me, images of broken bodies pulled from tons of debris.  Two massive earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, the first at 4:00 a.m. on February 6th as folks were slumbering snuggly in their beds registered a 7.8 magnitude which was felt as far afield as Lebanon, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and the Palestinian territories. A second quake, which recorded a magnitude of 7.5, struck just 9 hours later. Both resulting in a death count at 41,000 and rising.

How can one look at the images, read the data, watch the carnage on the evening news and not be affected?  Besides donating funds (check out Canadian Red Cross at we can also pray asking for God’s light, love and healing to reach each victim and strengthen the rescue workers.

It is easy to despair and feel vulnerable. We know that one minute these people were sleeping soundly and the next chaos ensued. We know they did not deserve this to happen and we know, from witnessing this devastation that it could happen to us too.  Perhaps our chaos may not come as an earthquake but may be disguised as a pandemic, cancer or a car accident. Some were left feeling anxious this past weekend as an American Fighter Jet shot down an Unidentified Flying Object over Lake Huron. This happened way too close to home!

Thing is, we have only so much control over what happens in this world and there is no sense worrying over that which we cannot control.  What we can control is how we spend our days. The moments of our lives add up to the sum of our days and result in the story of our lives.  It matters that we handle what we can control well.

Richard Wagamese, a truly inspiring First Nations writer shares this wisdom,

“All we have are moments.  So live them as though not one can be wasted.  Inhabit them, fill them with the light of your best good intention, honour them with your full presence, find the joy, the calm, the assuredness that allows the hours and the days to take care of themselves.  If we can do that, we will have lived well.” (Embers, 161)

May we all continue to hold the victims in our prayers while also shaping our moments into lives of light, joy, peace and love.