I wonder if it's safe to leave my house these days. On Canada's west coast we are constantly hearing about the Big One, the cataclysmic earthquake that supposedly is waiting to hurl us all into the sea. The climate is changing and the ozone is disappearing.

We have all heard by now that we are also due for a giant asteroid to come hurtling at us from outer space. A big one just missed us a couple of years ago in fact.

And did you know that the magnetic poles are getting ready to reverse polarity. I bet that will mess up cable TV for at least a week!

I go walking in the morning in a beautifully serene wilderness preserve near my home and near Tim Davis? home too.

But just the other morning as I was opening the gate into the park, I saw that on the sign giving hours the park is open, this notice: "Caution, cougars frequently roam this forest."

So now my early morning walks are punctuated by furtive over the shoulder glances to make sure I don't become cougar food.

The reality is that those of us who have computers and the internet live comfortable and secure lives compared to the millions around us in the third world.

Being eaten by wild animals is a real hazard for refugees from Sudan.

What greater cataclysm could we live through than to see a quarter of our community die to aids? Our brothers and sisters in Christ die by the tens of thousands each day of causes we would never tolerate.

I still go for my walk in the morning and I use it to listen to what God is saying to me about the coming day. Perhaps the sounds I need to listen for are not the imaginary footfalls of a mountain lion, but the voices of the suffering waiting for my response to their real tragedy.