Friday, March 11, 2011

March 11, 2011

We sat watching in horror. What we were watching was live. A day ending in Oregon while a new day was in progress in Japan. Buses tossed like water toys in a babies bath. Cars bumping like bumper cars at the carnival. Ten minutes. They had ten minutes to evacuate. We watched in horror. As with any major event, we wonder, "What if it happened here?" I cannot comprehend what I am watching. Dear God......

Oregon is predicted to receive a huge quake off our coast at any time. We live on the other side of the mountains often going to the beach just an hour away. I have sat overlooking the ocean when a quake shook the plates and cups on our table. I sit watching Japan.

We are at the mercy of Mother Nature. In just minutes, lives are tossed into chaos. People die, the earth is flooded or charred. Mountains erupt taking land and all in the path. Life as it is known changes with the wim of the earth. I sit feeling very small. I sit wanting to hold my family close and not let go.

This morning I checked in on Facebook to see what comments were posted. Did others feel the same vulnerability? Only one other posting mentioned Japan. Of all the people I know from different parts of the world, only one mentioned this event that has devastated a country. Only one. Have we become immune to the  events in other parts of the world? Or, are we wordless watching this horror unfold? I'm confused.

I sit watching our local news covering our Oregon beaches. A young man walks toward the ocean. Warnings have been sounded up and down the shore. Yet curiosity and defiance bring those curious to the water's edge. Do we think we are immune to the power of this world on which we live? What is wrong with us? Are we really so detached?

Last night I sat feeling powerless. Understanding that I was watching a horrible event unfold was almost more than I could comprehend. Nothing could be done to stop it from happening. Lives were being lost right before my eyes. I could do nothing more than sit here and pray for them. I could do nothing more than watch, telling these people that I care. I could do nothing for them but mourn what I was seeing.

My heart aches. This is not another country. This is not a different culture. This is not out of my neighborhood. These people are my people. We live in this family named Earth Inhabitants. When they suffer, we suffer. When they lose, we all lose. When they cry, the world weeps with them.

Today I celebrate the birth of my granddaughter twelve years ago. She is a bit more precious to me today as are the other members of my family. I fear more for her today in a world that has shaken and changed families forever. There are other birthdays today. Some of those are washed away by the ocean's rage. Today I will hold my family closer thanking God that we are safe. Today I will carry the thought of those suffering the earth's fury.

Sydney, I love you. Oh, how I love you.


  1. Thank you for your moving and honest words.
    I am beside the Atlantic Ocean today. It is very calm and sunny. What a contrast.
    How can things change so suddenly?
    And how are we to respond?
    Prayer is right, I think.

  2. Amma, there are no words, only prayer.

  3. It is natural and right to worry about one's grandchildren, but it's also true that we have a much better chance of our children and grandchildren making it to adulthood than at any time in our history. Think of the travelers on the Oregon Trail, leaving small crosses all along the way. Think of those who died of smallpox, typhoid, polio and many other diseases that scarcely threaten our children today.

    I mourn for the lives lost in Japan and for the terror they faced. But life on this planet has always had its brutal moments, and it always will.