Thursday, March 24, 2011


We normally think of history as one catastrophe after another, war followed by war, outrage by outrage – almost as if history were nothing more than all the narratives of human pain, assembled in sequence. And surely this is often enough, an adequate description. But history is also the narratives of grace, the recounting of those blessed and inexplicable moments when someone did something for someone else, saved a life, bestowed a gift, gave something beyond what was required by circumstance.    - Thomas Cahill

In the aftermath of the earthquake, stories emerge from the rubble of Japan. Strange stories of grace that break our hearts but give strange hope. Each day we wake and we think to pray for the people of Japan. We know as they face another day, nothing will ever be the same for them. We pray that out of this catastrophe there will be arms to enfold them. That Jesus will give them rest. That he will call many to a glory that will be eternal. Our brothers and sisters.

Last night our small group studied Psalm 130. A short Psalm that begins in the depths, crying out to God. Then comes the waiting and waiting and waiting in the dark feeling both weariness and fright. We are assured of both God’s forgiveness, his steadfast love and his plan for “full redemption” of which we have a taste, but we haven’t eaten the whole thing yet.

I picture full redemption being like the rolling back of the tsunami. In one of the most painful videos we’ve seen, people are watching from an air terminal as it comes across the land, rolling  the parking lots, pouring over the walls, sweeping over the walls, tumbling cars, trucks and people. And you hear the mounting cries of terror and lament. Full redemption will reverse the destruction of life. It will be pulled back and back to restore the earth to something better and more beautiful.

We are going to Chicago today on our own small mission of helping our daughter move. I’ll be away for a few days, but will be back soon.

1 comment:

domandkat said...

Did you hear about Kandahar? I read- I think on the BBC website- about the amounts that a list of countries had donated to Japan for aid. Kandahar had donated $50,000. That just made my heart break. The widow's mite. The poor churches in Macedonia giving out of their little to the churches of Jerusalem. Those who have nothing giving what they can to this country that HAS so much! Yet they too know the pain of earthquakes - war and poverty notwithstanding - and are reaching out to the Japanese in it.