JAPAN: How do I respond?

What is an appropriate response?

I’m honestly asking.

Except for communication technology that let people alert me to an event on the other side of the globe, I would have no idea and would feel no impact. At least not yet.

I’m asking myself this morning whether humanity has the capacity to be as engaged as we can be with localĀ andĀ regional disasters without becoming disengaged at a deeper level somehow.

Still, I can’t get the reality that is bearing down hard on Japan this week out of my mind — at least not for long.

Less than 48 hours ago: earthquake.

Followed quickly by: tsunami.

And more recently: nuclear threat.

In the next 48 hours: temps drop below freezing.

I find myself wanting to remind myself and others that Japan is not defined by this crisis–though the events of these days will, in very real ways, serve to continue to define this nation. The greatness of a nation is not in whether she avoids calamity, but it can be demonstrated in how she responds to it. Remember how she has responded in the past and found renewed greatness as a nation.

Ultimately, though, my response is prayer.

My prayer is that Japan will emerge not merely as a strong-willed, capable, dedicated-to-self or dedicated-t0-greater-good, forward-thinking nation — the third largest economy in the world.

My prayer is that she will emerge as a nation fully aware of her own insignificance and impotence in comparison to the One Sovereign God, Creator and Sustainer of Life. A nation that knows, as ridiculous as it is, that God’s love for her is extraordinary and impossible to explain in any other terms than GOD is God. My prayer is that in this, the Church in Japan will grow in grace and wisdom, impacting the Church around the world with her story of rescue and redemption. This is the story I long to hear from Japan.

This is the only story that does not have a THE END.

It is the story I long to hear from you and from me.