When Tragedy Hits Home

Mar 11, 2011

Whenever I hear of natural disasters, it makes my heart ache. So many people are affected in so many ways, and the tragedy is beyond my scale of understanding. But when I heard about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan today, that tragedy hit home.

My husband lived in Japan for 2 years as a missionary for our church. He whispered romantic things to me in Japanese when we were dating, and even proposed in Japanese. I have seen pictures and heard stories that have made the land and the people dear to me. I even tried to learn Japanese, though it didn't go too well.

That has made today's disaster personal for me. My husband has been beside himself; he knows these towns and walked these streets and is friends with many of these people. He doesn't know how to contact most of them except by letter, and so he doesn't know how they're doing. He is crushed knowing the depth of the disaster, and that crushes me.

The same year I started dating my husband, I had a Japanese roommate. We became good friends, but we lost touch after she graduated and moved back to Japan. Just this Christmas, we started emailing each other again. She lives north of Tokyo, though I'm not sure where, and I haven't heard from her. I know she is likely fine and just doesn't have the electricity to respond to my email, but the not knowing is painful and frightening.

I know I don't normally post personal things on this blog, but today's events hit me hard and I needed to share them. If you're a praying person, please pray for Japan. If you're not, please send your best wishes. And if you can, find a way to help. We often talk in blogging about being a community of writers, but sometimes tragedy helps us remember that we're also a community of human beings across the world.

Thanks for listening, friends.

*UPDATE* I got word from my friend this morning that she and her family are fine. They felt the quake, but live far enough away that they didn't suffer any major damage from either the earthquake or the tsunami. I'm feeling greatly relieved.


David P. King said...

I have a brother-in-law who served there too. I could hardly believe the footage on the news. Just terrible. We're hoping for the best for everyone effected by this disaester.

Very thoughtful post, Shallee.

mshatch said...

so glad your friend is ok.

Tatum Flynn said...

I'm so glad you heard from your friend, I really hope your husband hears from the people he knows soon too. Sending all the best wishes I can.

Julie Musil said...

I can't imagine what the Japanese people are going through right now. The images are heart-breaking. I can understand why your husband is so traumatized. I am a praying person, and I've prayed for their country every day. What amazes me is you don't hear of looting or anything like that. Only civilized people helping each other.

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