Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japan and Hopes

Japan has been on my mind and in my heart a lot lately.

My son is there, he is a Petty Officer in the United States Navy.

It has been a long weekend of watching and wondering and praying and watching.

I didn't know the earthquake hit because I was asleep in the wee hours on Friday.  When I woke up to start my day, I came downstairs to turn on Facebook to connect with my family.  My brother posted an urgent message to my son to check in.  Then I read all the rest and my heart felt like it leaped into my mouth.

My son did check in, he is in far southern Japan, in Iwakuni, far from the earthquake epicenter and far from the tsunami devastation.  He assured me all the military personnel were fine, the Navy moms could breathe a momentary sigh of relief, then our collective mother hearts began to look in sheer awe at the force of nature and the loss of life.

Japanese people are a very loving, giving, and cohesive people.  This disaster shattered a nation with many lives lost and really is of epic proportions.  We all wonder why this happened.

The why is in the hands of a greater power, of God.  My son posted Luke 21:10-11 this morning on Facebook.  Yesterday he posted that prayers were good and to keep them coming but to also send help.  He was speaking about faith-in-action.

My son will be home in 62 days, for good, about to begin his new life in college as an elementary education student (history).  He will never leave Japan, this I know, for this country of islands has captivated his heart and filled his dreams, given him opportunity and connection beyond what he would have known had he not made the choice to join the Navy when he graduated in 2007.  I know he is heartbroken over the the disaster and is pragmatic and putting his 6'4" frame to use helping with the rescue.

This thing that has happened keeps being asked by the news pundits, what if it happened here?  Would people be generous of spirit and stand patiently in line as the government officials give out water until there is no more, the rest in line to receive none?  That is what happened in Japan because Tokyo and Sendai do not have running water or electricity in parts and now with the added turmoil of the nuclear disaster, Japan remains calm, cool, and collected.  America is far from that community minded country, too individualistic, boot-strap kind of people, I imagine there would be pushing, shoving, shouting if that happened here.

We can all learn from this event.  As much as we think things are in our hands, in our own making, we are reminded, like the unexpected Monday morning snow storm in St. Louis, that there is someone else in charge, and He is trying to get our attention.  In that, there is a glimmer of hope, like a lone survivor under a pile of rubble, reaching out to humanity for another chance at living.

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