When the recent earthquake hit Japan, followed by the tsunami, it tore apart peaceful farming towns and busy cities, shattering lives in its wake. Family members are gone, and life will never be the same for residents of that area, even as they work quietly to rebuild. The news about this quake hit me especially hard, because my older son lives in Japan. While he isn’t in the area most affected by the disaster, he still faced decisions and possible danger.
Lesser, but more personal, earthquakes disrupt lives every day. Whether it be a car accident, a heart attack, or the diagnosis of cancer, these disasters often hit without warning, breaking apart once peaceful lives. Two days before Japan’s earthquake, my beloved aunt suffered a stroke. Within a few hours, she went from a self-sufficient woman living an active life on her own to a patient unable to write her name, facing months of therapy and an uncertain future.
My son made the decision to stay in Japan and continue his work there. While my mother’s heart would certainly have welcomed him home, I also admire his loyalty to fellow workers and his decision not to give in to fear. My aunt, after a few exhausted, discouraged days, has moved to a rehabilitation facility and is working to rebuild the skills she lost. She will not give up.
Cancer is also an enemy that destroys. Those of us who have faced it know that its shadow follows us for the rest of our lives. Still, like my son and like my aunt, we can choose not to give in to fear. We have a God who will help us with that, if we let Him. Every life will be shaken at some point; that’s just part of life. But we can rest in the hope that Someone who love us is still in control, however out of control we may feel.