Eight years ago when our daughter-in-law-Amanda went into labor with our first grandchild, the day started early and had grown long by noon. Amanda had been in labor all night, and five of us took turns keeping her company, giving her comfort, wiping her brow. I was sitting on the floor in the corner praying and trying to stay out of the way while a team of nurses worked with her. Exchanging knowing glances, they finally hustled her off for an ultrasound, returning with the news that her excruciating pain was caused by the fact that this yet to be born child had wedged herself sideways with her head pressing down on a central nerve in the hip socket. Amanda, herself a nurse, knew then that this child could not slip sweetly into this world and the waiting hands of the midwife.

Years ago, Amanda and our granddaughter would surely have died. It seemed to take forever, but finally the on-call surgeon showed up, wearing motorcycle leathers, helmet in hand. “Just give me a minute to change,” he said, “And we’ll get this little girl out of there.” Looking this kid up and down, I wasn’t sure I would trust him to change the oil in my car, let alone deliver my granddaughter. Desperate times call for desperate measures. There was nothing to be done but to trust.

Every part of our being screams action when the world appears to be falling apart. When we’re in trouble, when our family is in turmoil, when our community fractures, when our nation struggles, there rises from the belly a clear and compelling call to action. With the urgency of a woman in labor, our hearts and minds and bodies stir with an unshakable desire to do something, now. When we fail to act in a timely manner, the results can be disastrous.

Right now you may be experiencing a sense of urgency to do something about something that matters. Where in your life do you experience this call to act? What would it take for you to get moving? Who can you call upon for support? How will God sustain you?

Every necessary and life-saving action starts with quiet and radical trust. You are not alone.

Prayer: God of heaven and earth, you know the needs of the world before I ever think to pray for them. Stir my heart with compassion, open my mind with insight, and equip my feet for action and my hands to serve. Amen