Miguel Angel Escobar short Episcopal Relief and Development blog entry revisited the response by a few celebrities who offered their thoughts and prayers to the victims of the Oklahoma tornado last May, only to have the comedian Ricky Gervais tweet “I feel like an idiot now… I only sent money.”
At the time, the reactions were very polarized: people were on one side or the other. Escobar expresses appreciation for Gervais’ tweet, which serves to explore the need for a holistic response to tragedy:
As an Episcopalian, I’ve seen that thought, prayer, and generous giving are deeply connected. When tragedies occurred – whether it was a tornado in Central Oklahoma, a shooting in Newtown, CT, or the ongoing tragedy of global hunger – Episcopal congregations have held affected communities in prayer long after celebrity tweets have evaporated into the ether. These prayers for specific people and particular places shape our thought. We want to know the underlying ‘why’ and ‘how’ that led to these tragedies. And time and time again, it is in this thought and prayer that we encounter a God who urges us to give generously to relief efforts and initiatives that will prevent such tragedies from ever happening again.