Relationship. At its core, that is what Christianity is all about: an outpouring of love toward your fellow man born from the overflow of love toward God. Other religions claim that God or the gods demand(s) obedience, but there must be more to it than that, or else why would we have free will? He could have formed us as obedient servants, but instead he allowed us a choice. Yes, God wants us to obey, but more than that, He wants our love and adoration. And even our obedience to His laws is for our own good. He wants what is best for us. And what could be better than a loving relationship with a God who knows us intimately? And when we can get our head around the Truth of the All-Powerful God wanting a personal, intimate relationship with us, it leads to an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and humility which we should then pass on to our neighbors.
It seems to me that relationship is a key ingredient to sharing the Gospel message, too. Jesus demonstrated love toward people by healing them, feeding them, dining with them, etc. before he shared the message about the kingdom of God. And nothing can open the door to someone's heart like kindness and caring. I think that the fact that it is such a challenge to love our neighbor shows that it is the right thing to do. It is easy to love a puppy, but hard to love a challenging co-worker. It is easy to be kind to a stray cat, but harder to be kind to our own family. Nevertheless, the relationships we create here on earth are a glimpse into the relationship God wants to have with us: trusting, kind, intimate, personal, loyal, encouraging and so much more.
With this in mind, I say a prayer for the people of Japan, who are wholly relying on the compassionate love of others to help them through their tragedy. And I pray that that compassionate love will point them toward God so that they might find peace in His abundant love.