Monday, March 21, 2011

Alive and living

Last week I was finally able to get a hold of my Japanese parents.  They are fine; the earthquake-tsunami didn't affect their part of Japan (in fact, a lot of people are fleeing towards their area).  I discovered, through Facebook, that the other people I know in Japan are okay, too.  So I feel a certain amount of relief. 

Things are still bad in Japan, though -- as they are in Christchurch, Haiti, New Orleans, Libya, Afghanistan.... you get my drift.  And even here at home. My bro and SIL, driving to and from Mammoth and Las Vegas this past weekend (respectively), told me stories of heavy traffic due to so many car accidents on account of the rain -- and, sadly, the general on-the-road malaises of  impatience, road rage, or outright negligence. My SIL described driving past one scene in which she saw people moving the limp and dangly body of a motorcyclist, and a young woman, apparently the driver who'd struck him, squatting by the side of the road, huddled over and crying into her phone.

"One moment you're here, and the next, you're not."

My prayers are for hurting people and hurting nations, and my hope is in a God who is not only bigger than, but who is  indeed Creator of all:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,

though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling....

The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.

The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

-- Psalm 46:1-3, 6-7

I am acutely aware that life itself -- not to mention health, food, clothing -- is a gift.  Undeserved.  Fleeting.  And what do you do with a gift you know you don't deserve?  You take it and run with it, all the while giving thanks.  So while I mourn and pray and do what I can, I also celebrate that I am alive.  And though my very existence is just a speck on this earth, I believe that every speck matters to the Creator.  Regardless of the scale, then, having the gift of life means taking the responsibility to live the best life I can live, in the time that I am given to live it.


  1. I've had similar themes running through my mind lately, in light of the events in Japan and recently learning that the lives of two people I know are now shaped (in one case, sadly, ended) by cancer. I try not to start down the "What if..." path about my own life and the lives of people around me. I can't control any of that stuff, so the best I do is live as well as I can.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear about your friends' suffering. As you recall, my good friend lost a 5-year battle with cancer last September. We miss her a lot. Yes, much, much is out of our control. But deciding to live and be happy is not -- let us do so.

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