It seems ironic that just as the season of Lent gets started–a time when we may be spiritually journeying through some dark places on the way to (and through) the cross–the earth physically jolted us into dark places.
I live in an area that is prone to tornadoes, and I would much rather deal with them than earthquakes. There is nowhere to run in an earthquake!
I’ve seen earthquakes portrayed in movies…have imagined them in my mind…have even seen pictures of the devastation caused by recent earthquakes. I’ve heard about tsunamis–my first memory of reading about them was in James Michener’s Hawaii, but I couldn’t imagine what they were really like until pictures of the tsunami that hit Indonesia a few years ago.
But even all that didn’t prepare me for the pictures I saw when I turned on the TV this morning to catch a bit of news before going to work.
To see huge buildings sway…and collapse….and to watch cars being tossed about as though a 2- or 3-year old was throwing them about wildly…to see large boats madly bobbing about on waves that were driving them into bridges…and to hear reports that the tsunami waves were strong enough to reverse the course of a river was bad enough.
But then to watch–and see it replayed–the river of mud, water, and debris that was the tsunami moving onshore was almost like watching some amorphous evil force oozing onland destructively.
I can’t imagine what it must be like to be there in the middle of it…wondering how many friends and family have survived…wondering what the future holds…