Yuki-Anne, a guest blogger here on Beneath the Tangles, is a missionary in Japan (read her previous entry here). She was there last week when the devastating earthquakes struck the country.
So there I was, clinging to the door frame, praying, “God, please make it stop, please protect us, please make it stop, please protect us.”
Yoko-san came out of the other room and told me we needed to go downstairs. I didn’t need to be told twice. We poured out of the building and waited for the shaking to stop. It seemed to stop, but everytime we would go back inside, the shaking would start again. Even now, we still experience aftershocks.
I’m sure you’ve been reading the news. You don’t need me to tell you about the climbing death toll, the sheer loss of human life. And so in the middle of this, I’m having to ask myself a question: Can I trust God?
Can I trust God when I asked Him to stop this horrible thing, and He didn’t?
Can I trust God when He has allowed all this death and destruction?
I’m not going to pretend to have the answers. I’m not going to pretend it’s easy to keep trusting God when aftershocks rock my home, and I am forced to have a survival bag near the door, just in case. I’m not going to pretend my faith isn’t shaken when I hear that the death toll in Miyagi prefecture alone could reach above 10,000. I’m not going to pretend I’m not afraid of being exposed to radiation from the power plant located less than a hundred miles away from me. I’m not going to pretend I’m completely happy with God when I see footage of town after town that has completely obliterated, and He had the power to stop it.
But for some reason, I do trust God. I trust God, even though the earthquakes haven’t stopped. I trust God, even though the death toll keeps climbing. I trust God, even in the midst of my fear, and I pray that my friends and neighbors will learn of His love and learn to trust Him too.
Because He didn’t make it stop, but He did protect many of us. Because even though this world is broken and these people all around me are hurting, there are small blessings, like a baby being born in a hospital on a hill while the tsunami waters swirl in the valley below. Small blessings like a father and his daughter being able to reunite after being separated by the disaster. Small blessings, like the love, prayers, and concern of an entire planet.
I don’t know what you believe about God. I don’t know how this crisis affects what you believe about Him. But what I want you to know is that I came to this country because long before this disaster, Japan was a nation without hope. One of the highest suicide rates in the world, a stagnant economy, an insufficient birth rate. I believed at the time that God was the only hope for these people. I still believe that.
I don’t know why this happened. All the reasons you can think of just sound like mocking to those of us who are mourning. But what I do know is that, more than ever, God is still our only hope.
Yuki-Anne is working with an organization called CRASH to help those in need in Japan. Please visit their website for information about their activities. Also, if you haven’t already, please donate! And please pray for those who’ve suffered so much from this catastrophe.
6 thoughts on “Yuki-Anne in Japan: Only Hope”
I have been following Christ seriously for a few years and this whole incident has really shaken me up (not a pun). I really appreciate this post, because it is a reminder that God is in control, even when we don’t know what happens next. God’s peace is not an absence of conflict, but a deep rooted understanding that no matter the circumstances, everything will work out for the good of those who dilligantly seek him and are called by his name. Over and over again God’s peace is given to us and it is promised for us. So that God may have the Glory.
To God is all Glory – Zeroe4
Absolutely. God is good, and that’s an indelible truth that never changes. We have faith knowing this truth. That said, I can’t imagine being thrown into such a devastating situation, and I’m sure my faith would be tested. Here the U.S., all I can do is pray for all those people in Japan (even now, MILLIONS are without homes in the deep cold) and donate.
It is always good to hear from our brothers and sisters in Christ, and I am glad to see this message. I found I was lost in the death tolls, in the nuclear reactors, and in the technicality. This is a good reminder of Him who is behind it all.
More than that, though, I am glad to see this in an anime-focused blog. It brings an unique perspective that you have been doing with your other posts. So I thank you.
I will also keep the missionaries and the people suffering in Japan in my prayers.
Thanks for the kind words. Yuki-Anne, and certainly all the missionaries in Japan, need our prayers, especially during this crisis.
To undergo such a severe test of faith is something I’ve never experienced, and something that — should He will it to come about — I pray I will have the grace, strength, and wisdom to overcome.
I’ve also struggled with the question of how the Lord can, to put it simply, allow bad things to happen to good people (especially in the context of major disasters such as this one, with the loss of so many innocent lives). Not too long ago I managed to arrive at a solution, though I’m not quite prepared to share those views with others until I’m certain that they are compatible with Catholic teaching. Hopefully in the coming months I can set aside the time to raid the writings of the saints — and for a chat with a priest — to see if my views are correct or need correcting.
In any case, I trust the Lord’s will more deeply now, and I leave the eternal destiny of those souls He has called from this life to His mercy and justice.
For Yuki-Anne: please be assured of my prayers in this difficult time.
Our Lady of Akita, pray for us.
St. Paul Miki and Companions, Holy Martyrs of Japan, pray for us.
Thanks for your insight and your prayers, Diego!