For the past few weeks I have, like all of you, been watching some of the news from Japan. There are no words in any language to describe the suffering and struggle of an entire country in the wake of earthquake, tsunami, and fear of nuclear meltdown. Even now, aftershocks continue, and residents of that beautiful island country are faced with cleanup, tremendous loss, and worry about the future of their electrical power sources and the possibility of radiation exposure.
Geologists believe this earthquake was so incredibly powerful it moved the coast of the island of Japan by about 8 feet and even shifted the earth on its axis by nearly 4 inches.
When the earth moves, we too are moved to do something. Whether it’s a country on the other side of the world, or a neighbor who has experienced some terrible event and whose world has lurched so that they’ve lost their balance and their bearings, we want to be there. To hold them up, to help them regain some equilibrium.
There might not be a lot we can do personally for the people of Japan, though denominational and other charities you support are already there to assist with any requested help. But sometimes things happen close to you, the personal earthquakes and tsunamis that come to the lives of people you know, shaking their very foundations and inundating them with situations and emotions they never wanted. When that happens there is indeed something you can do. You can be the safe place after the destruction.
We can’t stop the earthquake. We can’t hold back the tsunamis. But after the destruction passes, we can be the dry land. Pulling people to a place of peace and safety. When they feel our grasp and see our faces, they may even experience the presence of God.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil, for you are with me. From Psalm 23
© Melissa Bane Sevier, 2011