WHAT GOOD DOES IT DO, PEOPLE ASK, TO dwell on the torn lives of others? Well, they're right to a certain extent. Dwelling on, but doing nothing about, the volume of tragic news these days isn't helpful to anyone. But people do want to do something. For example, in the last two months, many thousands of people have generously given donations to relief organizations set up to help tsunami victims. They've sent messages of hope and love across the Internet, in letters to the papers, and to individuals in the affected areas. Is there anything else to do?

We think there is. And not only for those caught up in such cataclysmic events. Consecrated, scientific prayer for these and other people calms one's own thoughts. It contributes powerfully to the relief efforts. And it helps lift the atmosphere of collective thought everywhere.

The Bible provides a very practical example of what each of us can do, too. It's in Jesus' parable of the good Samaritan (see Luke 10:30–37). In the story, three men pass by a wounded man lying on the side of the road. The first two men pass by on the other side, maybe hurrying on to keep important appointments or afraid to stop for a stranger. But the third man does stop. He puts off his own agenda to aid the injured man in his path.

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February 14, 2005

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