It’s hard to get away from the knowledge of so much devastation on the other side of the world.
It’s hard to know that someone else’s map now looks like something manufactured by Hollywood.
I think, perhaps, that the world is a bit more in shock than usual.
This is far from the first time we’ve all sat in front of a screen and watched devastation unfold and wash away the days and breaths and futures of thousands. After all, Hollywood has given us this “pleasure” (for what else do we call movie-watching?) hundreds of times.
But this is different. For this is the first time we have watched such footage and known it was real. This is the first time we have watched a very real wall of water toss buildings on top of each other and chase down fleeing cars.
Somehow, it’s quite different from still photos shown after-the-fact, isn’t it?
I wrote a while back about how my vision was changing. This disaster makes it painfully obvious to me how much of a mockery so much of our lives really are.
I watched a movie the other night with my husband, and a preview of some-movie-or-other showed a tsunami moving in…I winced and wondered why we feed Hollywood our millions so we can be “entertained” with copies of a reality that makes my heart hurt.
I think of those risking their lives in nuclear reactors, and I wonder if those who complain about the unsightliness of wind farms are re-thinking priorities.
I read headlines about those who cannot agree on how many millions to spend on an industry that depends on how far a ball travels…and I wonder if maybe watching ships and homes and people’s livelihoods travel much farther than a football field has helped at all to bring the NFL into perspective.
And then I look at my own life.
Is it worth it? Do our texted donations and inadequate prayers in the still of night even matter in the face of destruction that massive? Does anything we do even matter?
Way off in Canada, on the other side of the world, there is a woman who, most likely, has once or twice asked herself that same question. Does anything I do really matter? We all do it, don’t we?
This woman reached out in love to her friend…a friend who struggled greatly with the darkness that haunts our insides…fear…panic…despair…all the result of a sister’s blood, imprinted on the fragile memory of a 4-year-old’s mind.
And so she dared her friend to count beautiful moments…to count gifts.
Did she know that her single, small act of love would be taken by God and grown into something that would touch millions?
I wish I could talk to this one woman. She is not the one who was approached and asked to write her blog-story into something that could be printed. She is not the one who was handed the NYT Bestseller gift that millions dream of penning. No…God gave that to the friend struggling with despair.
Who can fathom God’s ways?
Surely there have been thousands who have struggled as I have, fingers hovering over a keyboard, longing to record the revelations God has gifted me with and share them with a world that needs them. I’ve dreamed that bestselling dream…not for the money and fame…no, not at all…but simply that the wonder of what He’s given me might be shared with that many.
And instead He gives it to a woman who did not want it.
It makes me laugh in delight!
But when I read the story of how it all began…when I follow the tracings of God’s voice, whispered gently to this woman, giving the seeds planted one powerful drop of fertilizer through the loving dare of another of His servants…I see a gift that I have been given as well.
It is not often that we are given the opportunity to trace His ways. To watch how one life touching another blooms and grows and spreads into what has become a tsunami of beauty and grace and thanksgiving around the world, one touch and word at a time.
Yet surely it happens all the time. Surely! For He is the One that did it, and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
This is the journey I am tracing, and He is whispering that it is only one of millions of journeys that He has chosen to keep wrapped in secret. And I can become a part of a million more journeys, if I only choose to trust and take whatever step He asks of me.
Two tsunamis. The one makes me wonder at the futility and emptiness of so much of what we focus on. The other reminds me that everything matters. Every day, every step and choice I make, every word I speak and type…everything is an opportunity to willingly be involved in an unseen something that God is working and orchestrating in the eternal.
To trust is to obey, and to obey is to marvel and wonder and praise that His ways are wrapped in the eternal instead of the temporary, and that His wisdom and power orchestrates that which I cannot see and fathom.
He does all things well…