I am always a little bit wary about writing anything concerning current events. It frequently seems that many people love to watch tragedy from afar and use it as their water-cooler/social network gossip while going about the rest of their day as usual. Many of these people I would deem unknowledgeable or unlearned in certain things and they all of a sudden find themselves speaking aggressively and enthusiastically about current events in order to push peoples buttons or so that they feel included, like one of the gang or to get an emotional "Awwww" out of those around them. Obviously Facebook and Twitter have made this endlessly more possible, but eventually, if you are one of those attention seekers, people will hide you or de-friend you on those very same social networks and you will be left hearing digital crickets.
So with that said...
I will still endeavor to talk about what is happening in Japan.
I don't want to rehash the already well publicized events/tragedy that is/has been happening there but I can't help acknowledging that it is affecting me even here, in my house, in my writing chair, in my beating chest.
What is impacting me so greatly is that it seems like it won't stop. Here is what we know:
Starting at 2:46 PM Friday March 11, 2011
-Magnitude 9.0 earthquake 231 miles northeast of Tokyo
-Within an hour of the quake a tsunami, wall of water, up to 30 feet high washes over the Japanese coast
-Many aftershocks follow, many exceeding a magnitude of 7.0
-1.4 Million Japanese are without running water
-They are running out of food
-They have lost their homes
-The death toll is already at 7,000 and there are still over 10,000 missing.
-AND after already having explosion problems, a nuclear power plant is teetering on the edge of a meltdown
-AND radiation is already being found in the food being shipped from farms near the power plant, therefore making the food shortage even greater.
I keep reading the headlines and thinking "No! Make it stop! They can't take anymore. No one should have to take so much devastation."
I am reminded that the Bible is not trite, it is not shallow, it does not gloss over reality giving no real answers to the things we need answering the most. Because I know this, I have found myself going into the book of Lamentations. This is a book of the Bible found in the old testament just a hundred pages after the sparkle of the books of Psalms and Proverbs, and Thump! It's name alone means "The act of expressing grief." I find this book wedged, in making it's place alongside the books Jeremiah and Ezekiel, just waiting for a reader to be desperate enough to look for hope there. I have never lost my home to a tsunami, I have never waited for family member who may never come home after one of the world's greatest earthquakes, I have never sat huddled in a shelter, starving and thirsty, with only the thought of pending nuclear meltdown and the effects of radiation poisoning to keep me company but I have felt, at times, that all was lost. I have felt crushed. I have felt the impossibility of moving forward in life and I think I've found someone who felt the same way. He wrote his thoughts down and they are here in this book that is an example of expressing grief, Lamentations. Here are the verses that I have clung to. Maybe they are also the verses that someone in Japan is clinging to. But, whether tsunami or the death of a parent to cancer, the loss of a child in a car accident, your home or your own health, these verses still ring true for each of us. May you find comfort today.
19 The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. 20 I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. 21 Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:
22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”
(For more of my thoughts on grief/loss and hope, you can read my blog "He Makes All Things Right...")