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Sunday, March 13, 2011

wake up call

i woke up on my birthday to see the earthquake on the news, and my thoughts went to my childhood BFF, who lives in japan with her family at the air force base.  they are fine - they are several miles from the impact zone - but they are understandably shaken (no pun intended).  i pray for their safety and everyone else who will be impacted by nature's fury.

i've been thinking a lot about the earthquake and resulting tsunamis. i can't help but remember the devastation of the indonesian tsunami in late 2004, and then the destruction of hurricane katrina 9 months later.  so many people affected, so much property destroyed.

2005 was a really shitty year for me.  while the tsunami and the hurricane didn't affect me directly, i had a few quakes of my own during that year.

during the week of my church's bible school, a little boy in the boy's class fell ill.  thursday evening C was gravely ill;  friday morning, he died.  C had meningitis.  the doctors did what they could, but they couldn't save him.  upon hearing the news of C's passing, i felt my blood run cold.  the boy was at ground zero of contact with the boy, and immediately was put on a course of antibiotics to ensure he didn't contract meningitis too.

that weekend was the longest three days of my life.  i never let the boy out of my sight.  i watched every morsel that he ate, held him as he slept, monitored every diaper.  the boy was still pretty nonverbal at that point, aside from a few simple sentences, and there was no way he could tell me if his head or neck hurt. after a few days, he was declared infection free, and we were relieved.

i went to C's viewing.  it was the saddest viewing i'd ever been to.  C's grandmother told me that the boy gave C a hug the first night of bible school and was touched that the boy would do that to someone he'd never met before.  she said she knew C liked the boy.  she thought maybe the boy hugged C becos he knew C was going to die and was comforting him.  i didn't know what to say.

i also felt so guilty.  guilty that my child was alive and this little boy was dead.  he didn't deserve it.  he did nothing wrong.  why was my boy spared?  i'll never know why.

i still think of C during bible school.  i think of him in january, when his birthday was.  a toy nativity set that we gave the boy's sunday school class many years ago in C's memory, reminds me.  when i see C's younger brothers and sisters at the annual easter egg hunts, i remember.

i think of C, katrina, and the japanese earthquake as wake up calls.  now, i realize that hurricanes and earthquakes are natural disasters.  new zealand and japan are on the "ring of fire", and katrina was "the perfect storm".  the BP oil spill, the rumblings in north africa and the middle east - incidents.  or are they?  is God trying to tell us something?  i remember after 9/11, more people came to church.  they were afraid and had questions and came to church to find the answers and solace.  naturally, over time, the numbers decreased.

ever since then, i question everything that happens - what is its purpose?  maybe the incidents and disasters are just that.  i know God isn't vengeful and doesn't want his people to hurt, but sometimes - i wonder.

i've seen beauty born from the horror.  volunteers went to louisiana and haiti to help with aid and reconstruction.  knitters without borders raised over a million dollars of relief funds for various disasters.  knitters organizing a "community chest" of yarn and supplies for knitters in new zealand who lost homes and belongings - they understood the healing powers of knitting or crocheting during hard times.  i'd like to think that disaster brings out the good in people.  maybe that's what God is trying to show us.  that we still have redeeming qualities.

i pray for the continued safety of my friend and her family in japan.  i pray for peace on the far side of the world from me.  i pray for those rebuilding their lives.  i pray for better things to come.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for your continued thoughts and prayers. We have been seeing the compassion pouring in from all over the world. My base is buzzing with lots of activity. Just last night, a search and rescue team from Australia arrived. And we expect many more.


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