Friday, March 18, 2011

Visual Prayers for Japan

I am filled with sorrow for the troubles in Japan.  Today, many blogs have been calling for silence and prayers -- I join that effort.  I have been praying constantly for the people of Japan since the crisis began, and now I am adding a visual prayer :
prayers for japan 3.18.11

The thing I keep coming back to is that what harms one part, harms the whole.  So, we are all Japan. We are all Egypt, Libya, Haiti, Chile, Colombia, New Zealand..... Our similarities are greater than our differences.  One of my favorite poems is "No Man is an Island," by John Donne:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

On the subject of what we, as individuals, can do to help, I am hesitant to send cash donations to the American Red Cross even though the news channels all urge us to do so.  They have a relatively high administrative overhead, so less of the money you give will end up benefitting the people in need.  Personally, I give to Americares, which allocates about 99% of its funds to direct assistance, according to Charity Navigator.

1 comment:

polka dot said...

This is amazing, Kathleen: we just posted a really similar thought, at almost the same time. I'm just wondering, tho.. I gave to the Red Cross first (the UK one, tho) just because I assumed it was the most solid, reliable. I didn't think about the high admin overhead. I'll try a few different ones, and will look into Americares, thank you.

Anyway, what you wrote... I originally wrote an even longer post, about Libya.. it's uncanny, this is so similar. And about dreaming about the cherry tree.. I literally was lying in the dark having these images and got up to play around in photoshop.

Pretty wild huh!