Sunday December 26, 2004

I woke up this morning to the news that thousands of people died because of an 8.9 earthquake.  As I heard the names of places affected, in my mind I checked them off – Phuket and Krabi, my friend Jess spent time there.  Tamil Nadu – Eric and the India team spent time there this past summer.  This morning the death toll was 3000 and climbing, now I’m hearing 10,000.  All this, as Iranians remember 1 year ago when an earthquake killed 30,000+.  Church was all nice and Christmasy, but hard to concentrate.  “Good Christian Men Rejoice” is a nice hymn, but well, how am I supposed to rejoice?  (Also, I’m not a man, that’s a whole nother beef I have with the song).  I’m not sure how to pray about these things – Annie Dillard writes much more eloquently than I about death and tragedy.  I don’t have the book in front of me right now, but I’m pretty sure that her example is a tidal wave caused by an earthquake in Bangladesh or Sri Lanka some time ago.  I know that Christmas is about God moving into our neighborhood… but an ‘act of God?’ (as my insurance company would call it…)

I was praying last night for green pastures and still waters.  My heart hurts to think of all the people who got some terribly angry waters today.  days like today i need help with faith.


2 thoughts on “Sunday December 26, 2004

  1. uloveariel

    i saw the news this morning too. praying even though i lack the words to say. and all those nice christiany promises like “the spirit will give us words to say” don’t really mean anything right now. the depth of grief and suffering that they are going through is more than i can ever imagine..

  2. enrapturedspirit

    Annie Dillards, The Living. I remember one sentence that stuck out to me while I was reading that… It was when Ada spoke to Minta who had lost her husband Eustace and her other two kids, Bert and Lulu. Minta was in a very distracted state and could only think about the people she had loved and lost to tragedy:

    “Minta,” she said from the depths of her bonnet, “Hugh has not been going to school, and when he’s here you don’t see him, bless his heart, and with the help of God you must stir yourself. For you have a child still living.”

    I really don’t know the answers. I don’t know how to rejoice in these circumstances either. Maybe we share in the grieving and learn to rejoice in the hope that we have. I’ve been on a long journey looking for answers. But it always seems to bring me back to Christ when I don’t know the whys or hows and realize that Christ is living. He has been resurrected. There are others that are still living. Does that make it better? I don’t know and I don’t think so. I grieve. Yet, I learn to rejoice too.

    Here’s another sentence I like:

    “Minta took off her spectacles. She located in the prophet Isaiah the passage she sought as apt– for she hoped her children might come to regard God as their father and find themselves ultimately not bereaved but enlarged.”


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