Earthquake Close to Home

A week ago I was sitting in our chapel, waiting for the school play to start when all of a sudden I felt as if the building was shaking. I asked the girl right next to me if she felt that too. Everyone in the room looked around, trying to figure out what to do. Some people went towards the doorways, some backed away from the windows; we went to the walls. As we waited, getting a little nauseous with the movement, we all watched as the lights swung and the windows buckled in and out, in and out… We just waited… Little did we know, thousands of people were losing their homes and lives. That little tinge of queasiness for us was in no way close to what those whose walls crumbling experienced …

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Some of my students praying around blankets and clothes that will be sent to the coast.

 

A little over a year ago, my student’s father died. I remember holding her day after day as she cried, missing her daddy. I cried silently along with her. I questioned that goodness of God and I let bitterness take up residence in my heart. I thought living with bitterness was okay, but in doing that I pushed away the only sustainer of my joy. For months and months I found myself struggling with being happy or finding peace… Until one day, I realized how desperate I was for God to fill me and how desperate I was to feel happy again… How I needed God more than I needed to understand why things happen the way they happen. Sometimes I think I put logic in the place of my trust for my savior.

 

And so I sit here a year later, seeing places I’ve been destroyed, hearing about people I’ve met that have been injured. My fleshly tendency cries out to question… But there is no hope in bitterness, no hope in living without a savior… So I am claiming God as the savior in all this… In these broken homes, as these children cry out for their lost and dead parents, I am claiming God as their sustainer, as the one and only giver of hope.

 

Hope… This word is dear to my heart. I had a friend with cancer claim this word throughout his entire journey… He passed away with a tattoo of hope over his chemo stint… Yet there was hope along the journey of despair. We can have hope in Jesus for in this broken world, He can restore us here or in heaven… Praying that those who feel hopeless would find God… That they would know that He can give them hope…

 

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A sweet note one of my students made for the earthquake victims.

Speaking of praying, I have been amazed by my student’s drive to love and pray for the earthquake victims. Today we prayed over the blankets and clothes being sent to coast. My kids are also so passionate about making cards to share God’s love with others. As I look at my students and see their sadness but also their carefree spirits, I often wish that I was naïve to the brokenness of our world. I wish I could step back and feel safe when I’m hugged. I say all these things but I’m not even the one that faced the trauma… My heart goes out to those who are always feeling the tremors but don’t have a house to reside in, or those who are holding out their water bottles begging for water… The brokenness of our world radiates in every natural disaster, the strength of our God evident in every crisis.

 

I have heard that the air in these places smell like rotting bodies… Death is among us but may God’s hope bring peace, may it secure them in times of trembling, and may God bring restoration if not here then in Heaven… Amen. IMG_1769 – Video of student reading card he made.

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