Thursday, January 15, 2009

The world can be a scary place....

The weeks fly by and I am doing so much exercise and physio that I do believe I am losing my mind. I woke up last night and discovered that I was doing some exercise IN MY SLEEP. No wonder I am exhausted. I don't think I know when to stop.

At the moment, I am looking at TV reports from New York and the plane which landed in the Hudson River. Thank heavens it seems that all the people on board are safe. A miracle. It is live on air here in the UK. Reason to give thanks. Not so much, however, if you happen to live in Gaza. Will the madness never end?

And I have been reading, in contrast, all the requests for prayer on the LPM blog, by people directly affected by the credit crunch. People who have lost jobs, lost homes, are facing bankruptcy, not knowing how to feed their families. And I just want to weep for all those hurting people all over the place. What I have been thinking too, is that so many of them have blogs. So many posted anonymously, but they may well have blogs as well. And how many people are actively talking about their dire circumstances? How much is a hidden burden? How many write as normal, and never mention that they are in trouble? For how many reasons....We can't all only be happy, bouncy carefree people. The loss of security is a terrible thing for a family. The loss of a home even more so.

And who, as one poster said, is thinking about the children who are having to live through all these scary days, not old enough to undertsand the worries their parents face, but too young to do anything to help? Mums and Dads who have no time to play any more, because they are consumed by worries or fears. Tempers fraying. Patience worn thin. Children with old eyes. So often overlooked, by parents under extreme duress, normally loving attentive parents, close to breaking point. Parents who love their children dearly, who are sweating blood to try to keep things together as economies crumble, and jobs evaporate.

Grandparents who are facing the same problems. Older couples who are having to watch their families lose everything, and, because their retirement investments are vanishing into thin air, are unable to help as much they may wish to help. Adult children are watching their parents too, lose their life savings, and are unable to help them. Families being separated by distance as they search for work.

It is happening all around us. Need is all around us. Maybe a lot closer than we think. The fabric of society as we know it is so thin, you know, and people are very good at hiding their worries from the world at large. We all know of people who have lost their jobs. People who are struggling. And it is all our problem too. Every single one of us can help in some way. We cannot stay cocooned in our safe little worlds and think we are insulated from the darker side of life. We belong to communities. More than ever, now, we need to reach out and help where we can. Get involved. Support small businesses. Donate food. Donate time. Money, if we have it. Jobs, if we can find some. Give advice about frugality, about ideas. Teach skills we may have to others who may be able to use those skills to earn enough money to survive these really tough times.

Next week, a new American President will take office. He must have the most unenviable job in the world. Would anyone care to trade places with him? I don't think so. I wonder if he has ever wanted to change his mind about the job. So much lies on his shoulders. And he is simply one man who has been chosen to try to lead his nation, and a great deal of the world too, out of the economic abyss, and into a time of hope. I would be running for the hills. He needs a nation united behind him, and a multitude of prayers.

But there is that word again....did you catch it? Hope. All those comments on the LPM blog had hope. And while there is hope, people will keep trying, keep believing in tomorrow being another new day, and keep trusting that things will get better. Little by little. Hope. It is a good word.


Penless Thoughts said...

Well said. Oklahoma, and Tulsa, have not been touched as have many parts of the U.S. but it is beginning to encrouch even here. Our daughter, and son-in-love, who work for the same company have been cut back to 4 days a week for January & February. Thankfully they have managed well and will be okey by just cutting back on all the "fluff" that we all have. The ones that are really hurting are the ones that are over their heads in debt. A hard way to learn a very important lesson. Live within your means.

Last but not least, for us Christians we have HOPE (your word) in THE WORD Psalms 37:25 – “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not see the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”

Anonymous said...

This really did make me cry. I pray for people in these situations daily and I hope we all learn from this (and that is certainly not to lay blame). I think we've all been living in an illusion - we listen to the media who show people flipping houses, making money, young couples moving to the country with £500k budgets and you know what? We start to believe we too can have that dream. We see more and more fast food and cheap eat/shop/mega stores and we buy. We find credit is available for cars and SVU's and trucks and we get it. All we are doing is taking more and more risk, working more to spend more time away from our families and ourselves. We need to stop. We need to define need and want, we need to look at what the priorities in life are and simply focus on those. We need to define what "a good childhood" is because too often people think that is giving your child a big house, lots of presents under the Christmas tree, fancy vacations and the latest gadgets. That is not how I define a good childhood. I hope that people stand together and find a better way, I hope people hope for change.

Mary said...

Hope is not only a good word it is the life - giving (saving) grace that breathes life into the deep dark abyss of despair.

Without hope there is no need to get up every morning and walk(often small step by small step)the road set before you. Without hope we will not see the goodness, the beauty, the rainbows of tomorrow or the answers to pray.
Without hope's hopeless.

How do we find - then reach out to and support - those who are without hope - who have lost all hope?

Hope is one of God's greatest gifts. Thanks Linds for your inspirational post. You have just passed on hope.

Butterfly Mama said...

Yes, hope is one small word with a HUGE punch! Thanks for this wonderfully inspirational writing!

Dawn said...

Beautifully said. I am so thankful that we have lived frugally all of our years together. But our retirement funds have taken a huge hit. Our kids are still in the stages of trying to build for future careers. So it's a bit daunting.

I would not want to be in Obama's place, but the scariest thing to me is his total lack of experience in any of the areas of expertise that a president needs so desperately. Praying that he is a very quick learner, though his ideas scare me spitless. Well, I didn't mean to go political there, but it is something near and dear to my heart.

On a lighter note - if you are exercising in your sleep, just think of all the extra time you're getting in!

Laurie in Ca. said...

I agree with your post today Linds. Only hope and the Lord will turn these things around, and I am trying to do my part where I can be of help. We have learned to live content with what we have and not go into debt. No credit cards here. I am thankful each day that we have a job to continue getting us through. And I am going to be praying hard for our country. So much is wrong with it right now. Much Hope is needed and my Hope is in Him.

Love and Hugs, Laurie

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Times are tough, but truth to tell, I've seen much tougher times. My parents have seen even tougher times than I have seen and my grandmother the toughest times of all. We need hope and we need perspective. I've wondered, too, about our new President and how he must feel taking the office. He will certainly have my prayers.

Becky (aka Morning Glory) said...

Yikes! Exercising while awake is bad enough, but in your SLEEP?? Take a nap today.....

I'm a firm believer in Hope. As long as there is breath, there is still hope. The times are hard but a bit scary, and I'm glad I have a faith that makes it possible to hope.

Janine said...

Andrew's cousin moved to Scotland in September, took quite a while to find a job and was retrenched last week. Not pleasant.