Wednesday evening (thanks to the miracle of TiVo) Jolynn and I watched ABC news together. The tragic footage from Japan riveted our attention. Snow fell as rescue workers comb the wreckage. Our hearts ached as we viewed the scenes. Part way through the story hope was birthed -- literally. The newscast reported the miraculous discovery of a small child (only months old) in the wreckage. She had survived for three days on her own. Yoked to that scene of rescue was birth of a baby. One of the doctors working around the clock giving treatment and care to those hurt in the tsunami took time off to be with his wife as she gave birth to their son. Watching, we too encountered hope in the midst of tragedy. Some wonder about the supposed absence of God in tragedy but here is proof of God’s grace-filled presence. There is new life in the midst of human wreckage. I couldn’t help but go back to a treasured piece of writing from Dr. Albert Outler. “Faith is not a falling back on God when all else has failed or is failing. It is, rather, accepting our lives from God’s hands, it is having and enjoying and taking leave of the whole round of human life in community as beloved children of God – ‘in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life, whose service is our perfect freedom.’” (Albert Outler, Who Trusts in God, p. 132) I urge both our continued prayers for the people of Japan – especially for those who are homeless or have lost loved, and for those engaged rescue efforts and combating nuclear melt-down – and our concrete deeds of love in sacrificially reaching out to offer assistance. One specific way we can share Christ’s love in response is listed on the Central Texas Conference web site www.ctcumc.org .