I have spent most of my holidays watching CNN and BBC, watching the updates on the earthquake/tsunami tragedy that has now been labeled a global disaster. The death toll has risen to more than 140,000. Thousands more are still missing. And I can only imagine the despair that survivors are now feeling, wondering what fate has bestowed upon their missing loved ones, fearing that they are dead, among the unrecognizable corpses or eaten up by the vast ocean. Many countries refused to celebrate the New Year. Even people faraway from the devastated Asian countries had silenced festivities – people in New York, in London, in France, in Denmark. The whole world communed in silence, grief and prayer. Nations, governments and races united in giving aid. And it’s utterly sad (even sad is an understatement) watching the destruction and death that the tsunami have brought. Now, more than ever, we should count our blessings. For those of us who have celebrated Christmas and New Year in our homes, with complete families, with bountiful food on our tables – now, more than ever, we should be thankful. We have been spared of this severe blow. Many of our fellowmen have spent the holidays in grief and despair, losing loved ones, losing homes, injured, hungry, huddled in camps without clean water and decent food or decent clothes. It is a terrible sight. The best that we can do is to pray, for both the survivors, and those who have died. And reflect on our lives – how blessed we are, how kind God has been to us, how much we should be thankful for. The best New Year’s Resolution is to have less complaints in 2005. Less grumbling and grudges, and more gratefulness, more love, more compassion. Look around you… If your family is still complete, no matter how much disagreements and differences set you apart – be thankful. Your job – no matter how tiring and dreadful it can become – be thankful. Be thankful for friends, people you love, and people who love you back. I guess that now, more than ever, I am very grateful. I’ve never felt so lucky. I don’t have much, but I have more than enough.
Your prayers are very much needed by the victims of this dreadful tragedy. Let us pray for those who have survived, who will be dealing with this trauma for most of their lives, after seeing what they have experienced. Let us pray for those whose lives have been taken so suddenly, in the most horrible way. Let us pray for those who have lost loved ones, homes, for those who would be needing to rebuild their entire lives over again. And let us pray that this tragedy would never happen again, and that our loved ones would never go through such a painful experience as this.