I remember on 9/11 dropping my wife off at work, then getting home and turning on the TV in time to watch as the second plane struck the towers, live. I watched all day as it replayed. It was like a liturgy for me-a meditation on suffering and unconceivable acts. It stopped my day. Downtown, Minneapolis was bare. The only people at office Depot with Elaine were buying cables so they could also sit in the sacramental television light.
The tsunami didn't interrupt my day.
Even more than 9/11, I can remember feeling as the challenger exploded. I was in second or third grade. I remember being sent home from school early to watch the shuttle puff into two plumes of smoke over and over again. We had been studying the challenger mission. With a teacher on board school children around the country were learning about space, and then death.
But I saw nothing of the tsunami.
It was a week before I was even aware of it. My only thought then was, 'Oh, I can't preach on that. No one here would care." Truth is I didn't care.
Last night I read "The Prayer Of Tears" from Foster's book, Prayer. It wasn't until our discussion today that I wept. And I weep. This really brought it home; it is a sermon Glen shared with us from an Australian Pastor.
As a father
I've been tormented by those images this week
Imagining myself trying to protect my child
as the wave hit
desperately clinging to her with every ounce of strength
only to feel her ripped from my arms
and torn away in the surging blackness
and then later hunting for her
in the chaos and ruins
checking body after body
desperately hoping that none of them are her
that somehow she will have been washed to safety
and then finding her crumpled and lifeless
and blindly carrying her limp body
looking for someone who could help
but knowing in the hollow depths of my guts
that nothing can help
and seeing in the eyes of everyone who passes
that to all but me she is just one more
of a hundred thousand corpses
[Listening to: Shout to the Lord - Ardent Worship - Skillet (06:30)]