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Saturday, January 16, 2010

What Song Would You Sing?

Like you, I was following the rescue efforts in Haiti. I know two of the three United Methodist Committee on Relief personnel who were trapped under the Montana Hotel: Sam Dixon and Clint Rabb. They're not close friends, but I've had conversations and dinners on occasion over the years with Sam. Clint Rabb has been here in Minnesota in the last few years. When I heard that they were missing, I had the experience of "praying without ceasing." I thought and prayed for them all the time; they were on my heart and mind.

I was at a meeting with the bishop of the third UMCOR personnel, Jim Gulley, and Thursday evening we stayed up late talking. As we parted company to go to our rooms, we sighed, thinking that these are about the three most resourceful people we know...and they haven't found a way to contact anyone yet. "It makes me lose hope," I said. I couldn't imagine what their families were feeling.

I was getting ready for bed when my hotel phone rang. It was the other bishop, telling me that she had just received word that all three of them were alive. Again, I couldn't imagine the joy their families were feeling!

Gulley who received fewer injuries, according to early reports, said that he and two other Haitian personnel shared a stick of gum and a Tootsie roll pop, prayed and sang hymns together as they waited 55 hours to get rescued.

My thoughts and prayers were with those I knew and now they were rescued even as they yet recover from their physical, emotional and spiritual injuries. Now my thoughts and prayers are centered on the Haitians who have experienced generations of misery and suffering, and now this. Why, God, would this happen to a people who are already in such dire need? We pray and then we respond. I hope you will give to UMCOR through your church or online (http://secure.gbgm-umc.org/donations/umcor/donate.cfm?code=418325&id=3018760).

Have you thought about what you would do if you were trapped like that, waiting for rescue and unsure what any minute could bring? Suffering from lack of food and water and even air? Wondering if people would hear you or look for you? Would you give up hope? Would you pray?

Would you sing? What would you sing? Would you quote scripture? Which scripture?

In addition to the 23rd Psalm, I might turn to: "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?" (Psalm 27:1)

What about you? What would you sing? What would you quote to keep your spirits strong? WDYT?