Sunday, March 13, 2011

Japan and other tragedies

My heart cries for all the lives lost in the destruction of Japan's earthquake and tsunamis. I can't imagine so many lives lost in such an instant, nor can I understand what it is like to be surrounded with such devastation. As I watch on TV, my mind wanders to what would we be like in such an event?

There was one time when the local council forgot to pick up our rubbish bins and it took them an extra 2 or 3 days before they came around. I was amazed at how much rubbish accumulated and how suddenly we had to put plastic bags next to our bins. The street looked appalling, with the threat of crows pulling apart bags looking for food. So quickly, the delay of an otherwise reliable council service could result in decline in hygiene and order in the most affluent of societies. So imagine what it would be like if that service was simply delayed or suspended for a week all over the city?

Then I imagine what life would be like without electricity and running water? How would we survive? What would we feed our highly allergic son? What if we had to live in an emergency center where they cook all the food for you and cross-contamination would be inevitable? I remember the news reports from New Zealand after their earthquakes, and how people were told not to use toilets, but bury it outside. How quickly disease would spread, and how vulnerable our son would be!

So then I contemplate stocking my cupboards with canned foods and cylinders of gas for our camping cooker. I wonder whether we should really buy more nappies and wipes, should the shop ever run out?

Truly, the lives we live are privileged beyond belief!

The unknowns in life are too many to count. We cannot prepare for everything, nor can we prevent all these things. At some point, we must admit, we are not able to fully protect our families and we are even less able to fully protect our kids who have severe allergies. At some point, we must come to a point of faith, where we trust and believe in a God who knows our every need, who knows our son's allergies and more. Can we trust him to save us from all earthly peril? Well no, we cannot, nor does he promise to do that. But we can trust him to save us from death eternal, and should any of us have our earthly lives cut short, we can also trust that there is life beyond what we see and hear. We can also trust that no life nor death, nor any other thing can separate us from the love of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Do you know that love? Does it bring peace in your heart in the midst of all the chaos? Does it also fill you with a compassion and a desire to help and love others beyond human decency?

... these are the more important questions to be asking... or rather answering...

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