Share in the Japanese Sadness
There are no words that adequately describe the tragedy and footage coming out of Japan in the wake of one of earth’s greatest natural disasters. Unbelievable, unspeakable, terrible, and horrifying are some of my best and feeble attempts. Death toll estimates at 10,000 and rising, dreams shattered, homes and cars washed away like driftwood, families separated, and tears upon endless tears to equal the merciless waters that have swept through one of the world’s most provocative nations. Thoughts that have been bouncing in my mind and heart (as well as in some of yours, i’m sure):
- Those are my brothers and sisters that have died and lost loved ones. It doesn’t matter what color, ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, or belief system they belong to. We are all family, all of us. We share the same Father.
- If anyone has a satisfactory answer to the age-old question of “how could a loving God allow…?” now would be a good time to show your face and give us the goods. I’m currently stumped.
- A 9.0 earthquake is ridiculous enough. But then came the tsunamis… and then the threat on nuclear plants… and then volcanoes? WTH.
- Is this fire from God to bring judgment upon a sinful nation? If this were true, what is keeping our “great nation” of the United States of America from complete apocalyptic annihilation? Please. We better brace ourselves knowing we are next or we better stop looking at these things as fire from heaven. Believe me, our self-righteousness alone is worthy of hell on earth. This is a wake-up call to all human beings to respond with greater compassion, generosity, and unity.
- After an outpouring of grief, sympathy and compassion, perhaps one of the few things we gain is perspective. How many years of schooling, sacrifice, labor, and wealth have been washed away in the currents of the tsunami? How differently will each survivor live their lives? What is truly important and valuable? Could any amount of money or affluence have prepared Japan for something like this? All the footage tells me no. Mercy.
The thing that gives me the greatest amount of sadness and grief is not in the horror that we see from the videos or the staggering number of lives lost. It is that one life was lost. One mother lost her daughter. This story tears me apart:
In Rikuzentakata, a port city of over 20,000 virtually wiped out by the tsunami, Etsuko Koyama escaped the water rushing through the third floor of her home but lost her grip on her daughter’s hand and has not found her.
“I haven’t given up hope yet,” Koyama told public broadcaster NHK, wiping tears from her eyes. “I saved myself, but I couldn’t save my daughter.” (Source: Yahoo News)
What if this was my son? My wife? My mother? My father? My brother? They would not just be part of a staggering number or statistic.
I share in the Japanese sadness because one life was lost… that was my son, wife, mother, father, brother, sister…