22 March, 2011

What am I thinking about?

I'm thinking about the Australian who asked me if I was in denial. My blog has portrayed such a different image to the general media in Australia that someone asked me (tongue in cheek) if I were in denial. No, not in denial. I'm keeping up with the news and filtering out the extreme stuff. I'm also dealing with the reality that life continues. That I have to provide food and shelter and clothing and security for my kids. So I'm doing what the majority of Tokyo is doing, carrying on as normally as possible. Actually that is important. Not everyone can rush to the scene of the disaster - that would be a fourth disaster!

Safe is a relative concept. I've been thinking that we convince ourselves that certain places and behaviours are safer than others. In coming to Japan, it was considered a safer mission field than others. But is it really? This last fortnight suggests that is a false assumption. An American said to me on Sunday, "You know, I could evacuate to California and it could fall into the sea. Or I could be hit by a bus on the way out of the airport." How true! We surround ourselves with comfort in the wealthy first world and pretend that we're masters of our own destinies, but it is so not true.

I'm thinking about "hope". As I put together this magazine, we want an overall theme of "Hope". The media in general has portrayed great and massive devastation - to a point of it all seeming not real any more. They've skewed things and put a huge emphasis on the nuclear issues when the reality is that more than 20 000 people have died from the tsunami and people are suffering for lack of basic essentials, and the relief of this is complicated by the media's hysteria. There have been some hopeful stories like the rescue of the 80 year old grandmother and her grandson, but those stories are thin on the ground. Therefore I'm thinking about hope. And how that we as Christians have something no one else can give to those who are suffering. We can feed them, provide all their needs and even rebuild their homes, but without hope we've not given them much. Think about it - it is like putting a bandaid on a broken leg. Another earthquake and tsunami could come and destroy their lives again. They could be run over by a bus! Without eternal hope, we haven't given them much at all.

I'm thinking that I need to get some dinner on the table or we'll have our own nasty family disaster happening! I'm thinking I hope it stops raining and warms up tomorrow. I'm thinking that I hope everything settles down soon and the boys can get back to school on the 4th of April. I'm thinking that I hope I get as good a sleep tonight as I did last night.

I'm thinking of all those who don't know if their loved ones are dead or not. I'm thinking about those who know they are, but are so consumed with daily living right now that they cannot grieve. And I'm thinking of the OMF missionaries who arrived this morning on Honshu from Hokkaido with the makings of a Soup Kitchen to work with one of the pastors in a badly affected local community.


Shirl said...

Beautifully written, Wendy. And I'm thinking of the photo on the Internet of the bonny baby fished out of the wreckage three days after the quake - and all she wanted was something to drink. Amazing stories coming out of the devastation.

Shan in Japan said...

Thank you, Wendy. As was said above, beautifully written. Yes, hope is what is needed! I am sure you are feeling the same way, blessed by all of the prayers of people from around this world. I will add hope to my prayer list.
Blessings from Osaka.