Friday March 11th, 2011

To My Brothers and Sisters in Japan,

My gracious.  I want you all to know that you are not alone.  It appears that the whole world is wrapped up with you in spirit and I know that many are praying for you as you walk through this loss and devastation.  I am one of them.

I have never survived a natural disaster or been hit by such a physical force.  I have weathered a few emotional storms through my parents divorce and the loss of two pregnancies, but never had to look point blank into the bald faced destruction of my world.   I have been pretty sheltered in my life.  In fact, there are times (that usually lead me dangerously close to an anxiety attack) when I wonder, “when’s it all gonna hit the fan?… how can one person be so blessed and taken care of?”  I think it is this understanding of and appreciation for the blessings in my life that lead me to fear loss so tremendously.

Because of my lost babies, not a day goes by that I don’t consider the possibility of losing one of the other people I hold in my heart…  these people that I love so much that it hurts, at moments it actually physically hurts.  I never used to fear this way.  I walked through life with a healthy understanding that whatever happened, God was in control and he would never allow me to be swept away as long as I was walking with Him.  This is still my belief (perhaps now even more foundational to who I am), but I have lost someone now (two someones) and I have been bombarded by that hurt and it sucked.

How many of you are in that place today but worse because you actually got to share years of life with the ones you have lost?  How many of you could care less about your house or car or camera or computer b/c you cannot find your daughter or you did not get to say goodbye to your husband?  I would never ever wish such a disaster on anyone but I will tell you one thing…  When I walked through my small losses, it was painful and I felt powerless and sad, but I never felt alone.  Not for one single moment did I feel alone.  Christ held his arms strongly around me and it gave me the comfort and strength to say “I love you” to God in spite of my hurt because I felt His love more strongly and certainly right then than in any other moment of my life.  God was not some uncaring hand up there moving the fates of my path, He was my mother wrapping her arms around me and holding me together until the sobbing ceased.  Those days were not easy for me and I want you to know that the whole world recognizes that these days will certainly not be easy for you, but as the scene settles and eventually the pain lessens, do not forget the One who is there to carry you through, especially through the fallout.

That is where I am as I swim around in my fear of losing these Dear Hearts.  I am in the fallout.  There is always fallout.  It lingers in the wake of disaster and asks us “did you really think that was behind you?” while we scramble to go back into one-day-at-a-time mode.  Beloved Ones, find the One who can walk you through it.  Do not refuse the support that is offered by those arms.  They will hold you together in an iron embrace and if you open your heart to them, you may even see a miracle.  Sometimes when we suffer we are hurting too much to allow others to love us, but if we allow God to love us he may even change us.  The bigger the chasm that is left in your heart the more space there is for Him to pour into and He is the only one in the business of taking brokenness and turning it into wholeness.  It’s sort of what he does.

I am so sorry.  I am so very very sorry and there are many of us crying with you and praying for you and wishing we could wrap our arms around you.  We cannot. But do not forget the One who can.  And please remember that you are never alone.

With all of my heart,

The Epistolarian



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