This Is Why

Catholic Relief Services
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Lord of Life,
They ask me why I stop to pray
And begin my prayers with thanks
In a world fraught with pain and loss,
     with cruelty and injustice.
Sometimes, I ask myself this too.
And then I look again
And gratitude fills my heart anew.

Because when somebody is hungry,
     another is dividing their portion.
When somebody is thirsty,
     another is digging a well.
When somebody is asking questions,
     another is opening a book
     and teaching answers.
When somebody is lost,
     another is searching.

Because when somebody is cursed,
     another is blessing.
When somebody is sick,
     another is giving healing care.
When somebody has been driven
     from their home,
     another is making room.
When somebody has despaired of all hope,
     another struggles on for them.

Because when disaster strikes
     and people flee,
     somebody else, against all sense,
     is running toward the danger.
To reach out a hand,
     to reach out Your saving hand,
     to an absolute stranger.
And when somebody dies,
     somebody else stops to pray,
     and then makes a home for the orphan.

It's as confounding as it is beautiful.
In this darkened world,
     where the face of God is veiled
In the midst of calamities,
     when all instinct speaks
     of self-preservation,
Somebody still cares for the other.
And miracles of compassion abound.

This is why I'm thankful.