I didn't turn on the news this morning or check any online sources, so am just now learning about the earthquake in Japan and the tsunamis to follow. Here's a link to a NY Times article on it.
Every time I hear of another natural disaster like this, my heart breaks for the devastation. Lives lost, those alive generally terrified and extremely confused, rescue operations mobilized but often delayed because major transportation channels are affected.
We know of these things almost immediately these days because of our electronic communication abilities. Amateur videos are already being posted of the disaster. Seeing it happen almost is real time brings the awfulness of this straight to my consciousness.
Christian people call one another to prayer. And so we do. In one way or another, we are connected to those people, so far across the globe. There is no such thing as isolated tragedies--when one of us is hurt, we all are. But even as I write this, I know there will be those who will seek to profit from this. The good in us responds with compassion and action. The greed in us, however, often gets the headlines and hinders recovery.
I want to say to God yet one more time, "How could You?" But that's silly. We live on a planet that is constantly changing. Earthquakes take place all the time. Volcanoes still erupt. Hurricane and tornado season are just around the corner, as they reappear each year.
To insist on stability in an inherently unstable world is to take the step, in my opinion, into insanity. No matter how much we might want it, and just wish we could stop changes that make us scared or uncomfortable or force us to consider a much wider world with its huge amount of suffering, we cannot have it.
We can have our grounding in a Holy God, however. God's mercies never stop coming--and we get to pass those onto others.
To do good--this is the calling of God's people. To do good, to relieve suffering, to embrace the changing world held together by Christ in full glory, to hope for the fullness of perfect love to flow to us and from us--that is what I stand on, even as I will do whatever small part I can to bring healing to this place.