Land of the Rising Sun

Japan.

An exotic land. A highly productive society. An economic powerhouse. A crowded island.

That is the sort of information and opinion I grew up with in the 1950s and ’60s, the period following World War II, as this once “evil empire” became a friend and remade itself.

And now, how do we possibly really comprehend what is happening to the land and people of Japan, what it must feel like to be in a place that has been so mightily changed by powerful acts of nature? It might be easier to have been attacked by a hostile nation, at least then they would know who the enemy is, against whom to vent their anger.

But nature is different, isn’t it? Sure, we can be angry at volcanoes and tsunamis, but what about sunrises and sunsets, and cherry blossoms and chirping birds and majestic mountain peaks?

God is part of all of it, even the destructive parts. I don’t mean God causes volcanoes and tsunamis, or even forest fires or drought–but I do mean that even in the midst of destruction, there is God. In fact, perhaps God is more there than anywhere.

It may be small comfort for the Japanese, who must struggle and endure and rebuild, but I know God is there. And God wants us to be there, too, to help our siblings. I am praying for them, as a start, and I trust you and many others are doing so as well.

We can donate to relief efforts now: the International Red Cross at http://www.icrc.org/eng/index.jsp , or Mercy Corps at http://www.mercycorps.org/ or the International Medical Corps at http://www.internationalmedicalcorps.org/ are good choices (or your own usual choice for disaster relief).

And there will be more for us to do . . . God, and the Japanese, will let us know.