A Crack in the World

“Repairer of the breach,” they shall call you, “Restorer of ruined homesteads.” Isaiah 58

I don’t know how to repair the breach that has opened in the world with the earthquake in Japan. The images are beyond understanding: ships tossed like so much debris across the land; smoke; burning refinery; melting reactors. What can I say to ease such despair and destruction?

Lent, in many ways, is such a private thing – we look at our own darkness, examine how we might change in the world. But how do we change the world? How do we deal with a darkness so big there’s no encompassing it?

I am grateful my family is safe. I was very grateful for Facebook connections that so quickly connected us to each other and to the news we heard from our family in Hawaii and shared with each other. But I don’t know how to connect to Japan. Yes, I pray for them. And for the losses of families and homes. But that feels like such a helpless action.

It is in enormous tragedies like this that we see our real smallness in the world and what we can truly affect and change and what we cannot. There is no bread I can offer, no succor I can give. My hands are empty.

7 thoughts on “A Crack in the World

  1. These events are one of many that have already come to pass or will come. The planet is tired of abuse and god is allowing the resistance to break apart. There has been many signs of change in the last 25 Years. We can clearly see our lives are very small compared to the big I hope the people get the message.

    1. Thanks for posting Mike. Yes, there have been many events over at least the past 40 years. But I also think change happens all the time – it’s just that some times are more chaotic than others. And this is one of those chaotic times.

  2. Dearest Janet,
    You have provided a husband, son, and grandson to the service of this nation through the military.
    I assure you that same military is already actively engaged in providing support to those stricken in Japan. Will everything that could be done get accomplished? quite probably not. Will there be mis-steps and mistakes? in all liklihood yes.
    But this disaster has struck where there is infrastructure to support the rescuers, where there are already military and other forces to help in the recovery. With this diaster came the blessing of being able to help on large scale, which is one of the good things that nations can do.
    So I guess my rather round-about comment is that you are in fact helping, by having enabled organizations that help.

    1. You are so very kind. Thank you so much. Your response brought tears to my eyes and gratitude for the man you have become. Your words gave me the comfort of remembering comfort can come on a large scale. You’re right. Thank you also for being part of the family that serves.

    2. Thank you, Dan for the reminder to admire how well Japan, as a country of deliberate preparedness, can model a better way to respond to ‘natural’ disasters. May we all follow their example for infrastructure, emergency drills and careful responses in the face of disaster.
      And bless our country for being as quick to help as we have been to invade lately.

  3. “My hands are empty.” Spoken like a true Feeder, Janet. I find that it is not just we humans of the feminine gender who often feel the need to soothe the suffering with succor, sustenance, or creature comforts.
    Speaking only for myself, whenever I feel that sense of loss at how to ease the suffering of others, due to distance, time or material lack, I remember to turn to what has always been available to all of we earth-dwellers: the collective sigh.

    I picture all the trees of the land dipping their mighty canopy of leaves in silent salute to those who mourn their lost. I imagine all the animals on this planet stopping for a moment in sadness for their cousins who no longer grace our sphere. And I add my silent prayers for solace to those weep and travail over the unutterable desolation of losing loved ones, safe havens, means of support and even perhaps, the will to rebuild.
    And in the silence, God comes to restore peacefulness, bit by bit.

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