Japan recently suffered unimaginable loss in the wake of an 8.9 earthquake. Thousands are dead or missing. Homes have been destroyed. Cities have collapsed. Lives have been overturned.
You know this already. And so do I. And we both know it is no light, ethereal thing or some philosophical prompt for the halls of a university. This is a very real devastation. And there is very real need.
A few days ago, I posted a blog entry entitled “Japanese Devastation.” It might have contained the story of a survivor, chronicling the minutes and hour and days in the aftermath of the disaster. It might have called attention to the visceral pain and enduring sadness of those so deeply touched by the destruction.
But it didn’t. Instead, I chose an abominably poor time and an abysmal venue for articulations of a different kind. I did not write to say that the destruction was deserved; I know far better than that. I said things out of concern for Mother Nature.
But it was too soon. Where was my compassion? Where were my words for the ones who lost their families? Where was my heart? Maybe those aphorisms I conjured are valuable, maybe the anecdote has a personality and a message. But not now. It was too soon, and too inappropriate.
I offer my deepest and most sincere apologies to those who read “Japanese Devastation” and felt it was out of place, out of touch, and tactless. Because it was.
My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan right now. I remember them as I go about a very calm, ordered, and blessed life, asking God to care for those suffering, those enduring loss, those seeking a foundation in the midst of such chaos. May we all heed the call to help as we are able, grounding our aid in fervent prayer. We are, indeed, part of the same beautiful Creation—brothers and sisters in life and in death.
May God watch over them, and guide us; that we remember our communion as one body of Christ, one people in life, reaching out in compassion and holding each other in love. These are the moments when we are called to be Christ for the world.