Earth Shakes

Sunday, March 6, 2011
Almost two weeks ago, the earth shook loudly on South Island, here in New Zealand. The first report we heard, not even three hours afterward, was that seventeen people had been killed. I remember talking to my NZ mom, thinking how awful that was. Seventeen people. Seventeen lives. Seventeen families changed forever. In the fourth hour, the prime minister of New Zealand announced that 65 had been confirmed dead

Today on the radio, the dj announced that another body had been found today, raising the death toll from 165 people to 166. One. More. Person

Those of you reading this prayed for New Zealand when you heard about the earthquake two Tuesdays ago, and are probably praying still. The people all across the country are helping Christchurch immensely in any way they can and are able. This morning at church, the speaker said that he has been wondering when the last time he saw the country come together like this – in this sort of community where a neighbour seeks out and helps his neighbour or the elderly lady down the street. He thought about 9/11 and then when Princess Diana died, neither of which were New Zealand’s tragedies, but they were eerie and invoked a desire to stick together, but not necessarily the need. He thought about a time in the 1970s when they weren’t allowed to drive on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and how people had to come together in that time. Then he thought of the wars and the Depression, but even then, it was a matter of planting a garden and sharing your crops rather than a natural disaster like what has happened in Christchurch. The prime minister said on that day that New Zealand may experiencing its darkest day.

I don’t have a point. There’s not really a point when these things happen. I am here during a difficult time in New Zealand history, and it’s a bit surreal. But Kiwis are moving on as they can with the cheery attitude that they are known for. I can learn a lot from that, and maybe we all can.

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