Yesterday I had lunch with one of my best friends who is also my printer (and a mentor). He mentioned that he’s depressed a lot lately — and the devastating reports of South Asia’s tsunami have a lot to do with it.
This tragedy that took 150,000 lives — and climbing — is having the impact that 911 had on many people. It’s nature’s version of a nuke or terrorist attack. Even if you don’t think about it, you think about it because it’s there, buried, in the back of your mind. And video images on the Internet bring it home even more.
So does the written word.
Most of the posts on this have — understandably — come from Asia. From eyewitness bloggers on the scene. But there are two that I read that I think about a lot. They were published on the Internet some days ago, but they need to be shared. And they’ll haunt you…
#1 Donald Sensing Hears From A Salvation Army friend on the scene in Sri Lanka. Sensing, a former military man who is now a pastor, got an email. Go to his site to read it all but the parts that are particularly haunting are these:
Things are pretty grave here.
All of our officers (clergy) survived. We had officers all along the coast. Most lost everything, but God spared their lives. We have been unable to evaluate our properties as of yet. There is too much confusion. We have been doing relief work, sending teams to make sure our people are okay.
One officer lost several family members. He just buried his wife three months ago. Please pray for their family.
Most of the deaths here appear to be children. Sunday Morning the sea was doing amazing things. The children were in awe. They called their mothers and father to watch. Then the waves came and everyone was gone.
Babies torn from their mothers arms. Grandparents at home gone.
The city of Galle is a ghost town. Sunday morning trains were full of travelers, the bus stand was full of people waiting for their transport and the open air market was crowed as usual. All gone. The trains floating out to sea, the buses full of people floating out to sea.
Sensing has a additional eyewitness account here.
#2. Citizen Smash’s account Nature Is A Bitch. READ IT ALL from the beginning where he relives being on a ship when it meets a rogue wave. And his wise words:
NATURE HAPPENS â€“ She doesnâ€™t care whether you are an environmentalist or an industrialist, rich or poor, good or evil, black or white, Right or Left. She is neither vengeful nor forgiving. Elections, wars, and treaties do not constrain her.
I have survived earthquakes, mudslides, wildfires, hailstorms, and blizzards. Iâ€™ve lived on an active fault line, and in the shadow of a volcano. Iâ€™ve circled the globe, twice. I have witnessed blinding sandstorms in the Middle East, hurricanes in the Atlantic, and typhoons in the Pacific. Iâ€™ve backpacked across the Sierra Nevada, had my food stolen by a bear, and come face to face with a mountain lion.
The one thing Iâ€™ve learned from these experiences is that Nature is neither benevolent nor malevolent. Nature simply is.