Friday, March 18, 2011

Words, Words, Words from Sendai

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the negative images and very real tragedy in Japan, I invite you to consider these words, written by someone in Sendai, on March 14.

"...the Japanese themselves are so wonderful. I come back to my shack to check on it each day,...and I find food and water left in my entranceway. I have no idea from whom, but it is there.... People talk to complete strangers asking if they need help. I see no signs of fear. Resignation, yes, but fear or panic, no."

Simply Tim's Blog Spot published the letter in its entirety, and I encourage you to click HERE and read it.

A friend of mine asked yesterday why such tragedies happen. I don't know. What I do know is that destructive geologic events have happened since Earth's earliest history, and that the violence and upheaval created conditions that allowed life to develop in the first place. Out of that crazy, chaotic soup, God brought forth life. We are tied inexplicably and inextricably to a nature that is both beautiful and violent.

How we respond to that violence is, for me, far more important than why it happens. It is our response to both beauty and tragedy that allows the force I call God to work...or not.

Whatever you want to call that force, it is at work in the midst of tragedy and deep sadness in Japan. As the anonymous author of the letter from Sendai says, "It is warm, friendly, and beautiful."

It is.


  1. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I agree with you.
    The news does tend to focus on the tragedy and destruction. Until recent events, I've never had a desire to travel to Japan. I don't like crowds of people, and I ignorantly assumed that all of Asia is overpopulated by noisy crowds. What I see in the news features is sad and unimaginable, but there are no reports of riots or looting. There are no cameras on frantic groups screaming for help from the government, or demanding compensation for their property. I see stoic and peaceful people helping one another, standing patiently in lines, grateful for the small mercies they find...I wonder how people on this continent would react to such devastation? Maybe the Japanese people are all in shock, but I have found a new respect for the way they appear to be handling themselves after this horrific event. I think I would like to visit their country someday afterall. I think I would learn a lot. I know that my kids would!
    I am praying that a nuclear disaster doesn't add to the tragedy for these people. That's an uncontrollable force that is entirely man-made...

  3. We travelled to Japan about 10 years ago, I was alittle resistent but my husband is passionate about the culture, art and history of this nation. What I found was a beautiful, peaceful (yes it has the most divine areas of serenity) and delightful country. The people were unfailingly polite and helpful even though language was a hurdle (for us not them).

    It is very hard for us to watch the images on TV but the Japanese are nothing if not strong, resilient and workaholic .... they will be back.

  4. Thanks, Susan. That was an amazing letter.


Thanks so much for taking time to comment!