Saturday, June 18, 2011

Crushed and Broken Spirits

On Tuesday morning after the latest earthquake, I went for a walk around our suburb. The streets are usually empty of people and full of cars driving to work and school on a weekday morning. This Tuesday, the streets were full of people, because many work places and schools had not yet reopened. People will out with shovels and wheelbarrows, starting on the task of shoveling silt from their lawns and gardens. Where liquefaction had come up through cracked foundations, people were shovelling sandy silt out of their houses. In a few cases a bit of sewage is mixed in. This was the third time that many had undertaken this task.

I was struck by the number of broken people. Many feel like they have had enough and wanted to move away. Others just did not have the energy to start cleaning up the mess one more time. I have never seen so many shattered spirits. It left me feeling really helpless. I did not know what to say to these broken people.

  1. I suppose I could have told them that God loved them, but that would be hard to accept.

  2. I suppose that I could have advised them to ask Jesus into their hearts, so they could have perfect peace. But that seemed a bit trite.

  3. I could have told them to go to church on Sunday. If the worship service is up to standard, they would get a lift strong enough to keep them going until the next Sunday.

  4. I would love to have been able to tell them to believe in Jesus and they would be joining a community of people who love one another and pray for each; a community where people stand together sharing what they have and supporting each other; a community that shovels each others silt. Unfortunately, that community does not exist in this part of the city.

The earthquake is not my real worry. The aftershocks will fade and disappear in less than a year. But that is not the end of distress. Our nation has lost the blessing of God, so there are worse economic shocks and social distress to come. My real worry is that the the body of Christ is almost totally unprepared for the opportunities that lie ahead.

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