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Faces on Faith: God’s loving children
October 11, 2017

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As Irma made its relentless way across the Atlantic headed for the Caribbean and then to Florida, I was in Wisconsin visiting my sister and brother-in-law. I watched and hoped and prayed, not just for Florida, or even just Southwest Florida, or Sanibel/Captiva, but for all who were in her destructive path.

During times of crisis whether natural, or human made we are told we need to pray. I believe that prayer is crucial to life, all of life, not just when we are faced with something, which we can't control. If God is the author of life and God's love and grace undergird all of life then prayer is a way of getting into the rhythm of that love and grace.

I don't really believe that prayer changes God so much as it changes us; opens us to the Divine and to one another. During disasters like hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, Maria, it helps us to link our lives with the lives of others and gives us the courage to reach out in many and varied ways to share that love with those who may need it most. Prayer takes on concrete expressions in deeds of love and mercy; the meals made for those in shelters, the helping hands for those without homes, money donated to relief agencies. This is prayer at work.

We on Sanibel/Captiva were more fortunate than others in her path; not because we all prayed and God steered Irma 20 miles east. We were just more fortunate and now we have the opportunity to share our good fortune with others who didn't make out as well. The needs will continue long into the fall and beyond as the Caribbean seeks to re-build and as the destruction and death in Mexico is made clearer. So let's put feet on our faith, wings on our prayers and reach out in love and mercy. So often the best of human beings comes out in horrible disasters. That is good, but it is also sad; sad that we need something like that to remind us who and what we were created to be, God's loving children.

-Rev. Dr. John N. Cedarleaf; Captiva Chapel by the Sea

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