I turned on my computer early one morning to work on a project. Typically I read the five top stories of the day as the web page comes up. Usually I just scroll through the stories taking note of what is happening in the world. Not along ago, however, the top story gave me pause: earthquake in San Marcos, Guatemala. This story hit home. We have Sisters in San Marcos and other parts of Guatemala. Soon memories flooded my heart as I remembered my trip to Guatemala several years ago. A few days after reading the first account of the earthquake in Guatemala, I read the heart-wretching story of the family of 10 killed by the earthquake in San Marcos.
The family worked in a stone quarry, their livelihood. All of the family except one son, who was finishing last-minute assignments to complete his accounting degree, were near the stone quarry when the earthquake hit. Rescuers found their bodies huddled together, the parent’s backs to the mountain embracing their children trying to shield them from the tumbling mountain. So terribly sad. Many stories in the news these days are close to home, either geographically like the Hurricane in the eastern part of the United States in recent weeks which wrecked havoc and devastation or close in heart like this devastating earthquake in Guatemala. Life changes suddenly. Life changes unexpectedly.
We do not know the day or the hour the reading from Mark 13:24-32 from the Christian scriptures tells us: “in those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.” We do not know when any of us will transition to the next life or when life as we know it will change. What we do know is like the parents comforting their children from the falling mountain, our God, our beloved, comforts us when the mountains of life tumble upon us.
There are many kinds of earthquakes or “lifequakes” in our lives. A situation takes place that quakes our sense of security and certainty leaving the future unknown. Many deal with an unexpected medical diagnosis, for others the quake in life happens in the midst of a marriage that loses hope because of irreconcilable differences or infidelity. Friendships change for no clear reason. Others deal with medical situations of a new-born or job loss. Still others face losing their homes or the loss of a loved one. In the midst of these “lifequakes” our God is faithful, embracing and comforting us as life falls upon us. The Holy One’s embrace promises new life…even if in time.
Our invitation is to embrace comfort.
Blessings and peace.