Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Unsettling Business

One year ago I took a leap of faith
and dove into the world of blogging with both feet. 
While the "splash" I make is probably minute,
I continue to enjoy the journey
and hope you enjoy riding along.
Your comments are much appreciated.

Perhaps it is coincidence, but exactly one year ago I wrote of my personal experience with earthquakes because there had recently been massive ones in Haiti, then Chile ......and now Japan. It is, yet again, one of those times when the earth takes on a life of its own and spins out of control, leaving massive destruction and human agony in its wake.

Frank Slide, Alberta, Canada

There are those who would say that we deserve this - that all signs have pointed this way and that God or "the gods" is/are angry. We are, after all, measly humans who are bound for "Hell in a hand basket". The end is surely near and it is only a matter of time.... Perhaps - but who is to say?

Life on earth is risky and highly dangerous - always has been and always will be. Deep down inside we know this to be true, but somehow in the everyday business of living we shove all thoughts of such aside, unless (or until) we are forced to look them straight in the eye. For this most recent tragedy, as with most events nowadays, that means video on the nightly news or computer screen, and it's impossible to look away. Human misery is eerily compelling and the overwhelming feeling of helplessness - both in Japan and in our living rooms here - is staggering. So much damage, death, and destruction - how can things ever be put back as they were? What can we do? How can life go on?

The answers are both extremely complicated and simple. Much depends on support and outlook and one depends upon the other, both here and half a world away. Choose to concentrate on the stories of rescue, goodwill, and compassion, not the terrible death, crime, and hopelessness of the people involved. Act - decide in what ways you are best equipped to help, and do so. Some people are trained and have the means to travel to disaster areas to lend valuable service on the spot. Most of us, however, are not, so need to contribute in other ways. Usually, contributing money is the best way to help, but be sure to take your time and thoroughly check out the group or agency you are contributing to. Don't be concerned with how little or how much you can afford - sometimes the things that mean the most cost very little. Clean water, fresh bandages, packaged meals, hugs, and reassuring attitudes are invaluable. Offer support here to those you know who have family or friends in the disaster area.

It will be a long road to recovery, for things will never be as they were. Nature is a powerful force and humankind has yet to accept the fact that we are often helpless against it. But as we have seen, time and again throughout history, life will go on. Things will be different, lives will have been changed and much will have been lost. But much will ultimately be gained in the way of knowledge about living here on planet earth and about how we care for each other. Since we are such a tiny pin-prick in the universe, perhaps our real strength lies well outside of ourselves...

They were snatched away before their time;
their foundation was washed away.
Job 22:16

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
Psalm 46:1-3

Click HERE to read my first post on earthquakes.

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