"I expected times like this – but I never thought they'd be so bad, so long, and so frequent." – Ashleigh Brilliant, Despair.com
I used to pretty much "get on my game face" when one of these babies came wandering up from the Caribbean. These days it seems like I'm just interested in getting on with things: either hit me or don't hit me, but let's not drag this out for a few weeks as I have little patience for drama. Then of course, along comes the quake. While this definitely ratcheted up the tension on the already nervous, it too didn't register much with me. I guess not much fazes me anymore.
While there is the wisdom shared by some that this is the Apocalypse, I'll point out that this was also said about a number of previous disasters by a number of similarly-wrong prophets, hucksters, and snake-oil salesmen posing as religious leaders. I'm watching The Weather Channel like I do throughout most of the year anyway, hoping my family located in the Mid-Atlantic is doing okay, as they are usually wondering about us when the storms are aimed a little lower.
On my way back from out of town, I found myself contemplating the possibility of a strike on my community, as we were centered nicely in the earlier forecasts. Strangely enough, and maybe it's just a sign that I am growing older, I felt pretty peaceful about it, so long as I could assure the safety of my wife and children and as well, spare the lives of my many Island neighbors (and other communities as well, but you get what I mean). The rest is just stuff and stuff can ultimately be replaced. It wouldn't be easy, but so long as we have each other, we have what we need.
A story I have repeated often (and have even spoke of it here on FHZ) is one from Katrina. I met a man who had lost everything he had. When I questioned how God could let something like this happen, he said that he was thankful, because this was God's way of showing him how many people loved him. In retrospect, some of the most valued lessons and gifts in my life came from Katrina. That sounds pretty bizarre, but the friendships I strengthened, the people who I met and have become lifetime friends with, the opportunities for learning and sharing, and many other things as well all came from the aftermath of that terrible storm.
Let's keep the people and communities who have already been impacted by disasters all over the world, and those who are in the sights of this new threat on the horizon, in our prayers. And let's hope that instead of despair, each individual instead finds some meaning in these tragedies, meaning that strengthens them for the rest of their lives.