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.