Friday, March 11, 2011

Natural Disasters

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
Terrible things happened in Japan this morning. Hawaii was shaken, too. The northwest coast of the U.S. can see some trouble on the horizon. How can one put a positive spin on events that are so destructive and not caused by human hand? How do we make sense of an “act of God?”

While there are very few things that can be said positively about human suffering and natural disaster in relation to those who are at the epicenter, disaster does, indeed, have a positive side. Within hours of such happenings, the world stops its obsession with Charlie Sheen and Wisconsin legislators and non-stop coverage of the Libyan rebellion and takes on the mantle of peace and compassion and helping one’s neighbor.

And that is no small thing. Once in a while we all need to step back from our petty concerns and reach out – physically or financially or in prayer – to those who have had their lives disrupted in massive ways (“we” being nations and individuals). Disasters push the “reset” button of our lives and give us perspective on the important and the loving and the compassionate thing. It doesn’t last too long. Far too soon we resume where we left off. But for a season we are reset and our world pulls together instead of pulling apart.

Today – Pray for those whose lives have been impacted by the earthquake. Rejoice in the unity visible so rarely as people gain momentary perspective on the important things.

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