For anyone thinking they’ve had a bad week I picked up my copy of World Magazine and read the obituary of Tsutomu Yamaguchi. He has the dubious distinction of having been bombed by not one, but both of the atomic bombs during World War II.
Turns out on August 6th he was in Hiroshima for a business trip when the 1st bomb was dropped. I guess that prompted him to return home to Nagasaki where he got nailed with bomb #2 on August 9th. He made it to the ripe age of 93 proving his apparent immunity to enormous amounts of radiation.
Hopefully Tsutomu has given us a nice relative scale by which this week will be stellar.
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. Selah
In light of the earthquake in Haiti, I was reminded of my earthquake experience on the other side of the world. I was 40 miles from the epicenter of the 8.0 quake and have a very small window into perhaps what those initial moments were like. It is still one of the most surreal periods of time of my life.
Thinking of that time I remembered this Psalm as a help in the midst of aftershocks, in the midst of fear, in the midst of seeing so much pain and destruction.
The earth gave way. In China. In Haiti. In many other places throughout history. The creation groans and is fallen just like humanity. Yet God is our refuge. God is our strength. He is a very present help in trouble. I pray that his presence is real for the people of Haiti. I pray that in the midst of the sleeping outside due to fear of more buildings crumbling with every aftershock. I pray that in the midst of the horror of the memories of the sights and sounds of those initial moments. I pray that in the months to come when this disaster is old news and people have moved on to other things.
The Global Aid Network, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ, is working to help the people of Haiti. Consider supporting them as they support people in need there. http://tinyurl.com/ybyyfh8
Ex-Fox News reporter, Brit Hume, came under fire this weekend for some comments he made in regards to the Tiger Woods situation. Reading an article on this I found a great quote from Hume from a previous article in 2008:
“If a person is a Christian and tries to face up to the implications of what you say you believe, it’s a pretty big thing. If you do it part time, you’re not really living it.”
Now there are two great truths in that statement:
1) Living the Christian life is not easy. I think sometimes in our Gospel presentations we present a view of the Christian life that makes it seem like life is an effortless journey of constant happiness. The disciples and countless other martyrs I’m sure would say it’s 100% worth it, but it’s not easy. There are implications.
2) Living the Christian life is all-encompassing. It should permeate every moment of our lives, ever action, every interaction, every relationship, etc. This notion of Christianity is great when I “need” it or when the church schedule dictates is dangerous. It leads to frustration as well as a world that sees many, many hypocrites.
Now I don’t have either one of these things down. It is a struggle to fight through the times when life isn’t easy. It’s a struggle to fight against separating Christ from other parts of my life. Grace covers all of that, but by this same grace, we have responsibilities and a role to play in being light in a dark world.