What can be said as citizens of the world watch the disaster happening in Japan unfold? Imagine what it was like being a helicopter pilot over the wave of destruction passing over the farmlands of rural northern Japan knowing that people were likely swept up in that wave losing their very lives? We’re all viewing images, watching video and hearing stories of the missing, the unaccounted and of course the furious efforts to contain nuclear leaks at Japan’s hardest hit nuclear reactors.
Here we are, half a world away, feeling helpless to do anything of any real consequence; skeptical of sending cash donations for fear they would be squandered away in bureaucracies like those millions of dollars flushed away following Haiti’s disaster (how are those poor people fairing a year after their earthquake?). Even if I had the cash to send, where does it ultimately go and does it really help anyone in need?
I have to admit, as I watched the initial images coming in after this story broke out on worldwide media outlets, I felt a strong urge to evaluate the meaning of my life as it is. Why was I not part of a something bigger than myself? Why was I not part of a search and rescue team getting my hands and feet involved in helping save lives? But yet, what can one person do in the face of such massive heartache and tragedy?
I’m sure I am not alone in some of these thoughts and I have very little to offer the people of Japan at this critical time in their history other than my heartfelt sympathy and prayers for recovery. I also pray against the potential nuclear “meltdown” feared in the affected areas. The media is calling this a three-fold disaster: earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear fallout. I pray that this disaster is not further complicated by anything else and that search and rescue efforts can truly take shape and be effective to help the survivors of this disaster recover, not only physically, but emotionally as well for there will be much sorrow to go around for a long while after the uncontrolled fires are extinguished; the tsunami debris is cleaned up and homes are rebuilt.
My heart aches for Japan today, as it did for the people of Christchurch, New Zealand a few weeks ago, the Haitians last year and for the Indonesians in 2004. Such extreme natural disasters are beyond anyone’s control and our efforts are only in containment, rescue, and cleanup and rebuilding. It is at a time like this that I am heartened by member nations of the world seeking to come together in a spirit of unity to help their fellow human beings in a time of extreme crisis. Beyond the evil seen daily in this world, there is much good to see and remember.
It’s in times such as these where we all ought to take account of our lives, our blessings and be ever-so-thankful for what we have. Life is too short to take ANYTHING for granted.
May God comfort the people of Japan through this crisis, and may He bless the efforts of those who are able to help in all stages of rescue and rebuilding efforts. May small miracles abound out of this tragedy and give hope to all mankind.