"I hold on to You for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post..." Psalm 63

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How do our hearts respond?

When disaster strikes around the world and our hands cannot physically do anything to help, how do our hearts respond to tragedy at someone else's expense?  
Do they respond at all?  
I admit to being a late-comer to the news coverage in Japan.
My weekend was full and I'm not proud to say it became about ME and MY schedule and MY world.  
And not until yesterday did I sit down and really LOOK through eyes of compassion. 
How dare I?

While I cleaned my home for visitors, 
around the world there were real people trying to find their homes

while my home filled up with 
family 
and 
friends
there were real people searching desperately for theirs
life as they knew it a few days ago is gone
treasures stored up are broken and useless
{was there once a child in that empty basket?}

where once there was
 laughter
comfort
provision
safety
I imagine there is now a constant echo of
fear
resentment
anxiety
grief
hunger
bitterness

and for good reason...
life as it had been   
has changed.

displacement
and
deep, deep heartache
is everywhere
I cannot fathom such wrenching pain.
I've known my own
but with safety of 
home
family
clean water
food on the table
Never complete nothingness. 
Never.

But it can happen.
To any of us.
Anywhere.

The pictures remind me of
I saw firsthand in 2006 and again in 2008 how devastating a natural disaster can be on 

families
homes
churches
communities
whole cities

But I also witnessed what it looks like when many hands work together for the common good.
I saw people who should have been devastated
 and frankly no one would have blamed them 
if they'd curled up in the fetal position for an inordinate amount of time.

I saw these people helping one another.
They had NOTHING left
and yet they gave.

They were the most grateful people I've ever met.
They fed us voluminous amounts of food
out of what little they had.

They 
chose 
Joy

And it was unnatural.
But it was beautiful.

I don't know how to rectify in my head the amount that was lost
and I'd never EVER sugar coat by saying 
"eventually it will be okay again"

The grieving father, mother, sister, brother
don't need to hear that today.
Today there is deep pain.

But I can't help but wonder about the stories we have not yet heard.
Stories of HOPE that will rise out of the rubble
{all pictures taken from boston.com}
Children who will rise up and rebuild what was lost and broken.

This story is not fully written
There will come a day of redemption 
when all disaster will be made sense
on the other side.

But maybe not until then.
Today it just hurts 
and 
makes you feel helpless.

And I think that's ok...
it's where God's heart of compassion merges with ours
and begins a new thing inside of us.

"When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. 
"What a huge harvest!" he said to his disciples. 
"How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!"
Matthew 9:36


2 comments:

Jeane` said...

Perfectly put, Terri.
Love to you!
J.

Mrs.Rabe said...

It is wrenching...your post was so well written. Thank you.

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