Monday, March 14, 2011

Holding on to the unshaken one

When Japan shook violently last week, it sent existential aftershocks throughout the world. This is just a gut feeling I have, but I think those aftershocks hit those cities and countries that have many things in common with Japan. State-of-the-art technology and a leading (though struggling) economy immediately pop into my mind, not to mention position on fault lines and other scientific similarities that are far beyond my scope.

In Seattle, for example, news of this earthquake is grave on multiple levels. The first level, of course, is the devastation caused to the people of Japan by such an epic disaster. On a deeper level, though, the gravity of their situation hits an unsettling nerve in many of us here in the Northwest. That could be us. Many experts believe the Seattle area is due for a massive earthquake. We are positioned to not only experience a powerful quake, but also potentially more devastating, a powerful tsunami. If Japan, in all their preparedness could not escape the incalculable damage that has them currently stunned, our city has much less of an advantage over such disaster. It's hard not for this to hit home and cause our own internal earthquakes of insecurity, even fear.

But lest you begin to believe I am an utter and complete downer (and maybe you already think that), I confess my purpose in pointing out these observations is not to indulge your or my fears. I'm just saying, let's get them out in the open, because most of us feel them. And once they're out in the open, let's take it a step further. Let's not become prisoners to our insecurities about the state or our world our the events of the future. Much easier said than done, I'll be the first to admit. I am unable to provide a clear, succinct philosophical answer as to why things are happening the way they are in the world. I have some thoughts from a spiritual, biblical perspective that I could share, but I won't even go there today. My one thought on the matter today is as simple as this:

In a world that is entirely shakeable; though our cities and nations, our homes and lives, our ideas and beliefs, our economies and governments may be shaken; though our minds and hearts may be riddled with unanswered questions, things that do not make sense; one thing and one thing alone remains unshaken and unshakeable: the love of God.

I know that sounds really simple, really easy for me to say not being in the midst of devastation at this moment. But if I don't believe this one thing to be true, I have nothing, no foundation to stand on when the shaking occurs.

What are we standing on?

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