Tuesday, March 22, 2011

News and (my) views

Family responsibilities have contributed to my limited interactions on the Internet for the past few days. But the overriding reason for the absence of recent posts on Retirement Daze was that I have been struggling to climb out of the news vortex of disaster and conflict.

The magnitude of human suffering and loss created a kind of paralysis in me. Nothing I could add via a post about the situation in Japan, Libya and other areas could help. And how could I possibly share light-hearted posts or even family challenges when they shrink to insignificance as the lives of so many have been, and still are being, torn to shreds?

I have come to realize, however, that such emotional and mental paralysis is a convoluted self-centeredness. A single life will always be lived out within the context of larger issues and events. And some are called to help in dramatic ways; some in small ways.

I had momentarily forgotten that lots of folks giving together can make a difference, even when those giving are individuals with limited resources. I had also momentarily lost touch with the fact that there is no distance in prayer. Prayer from afar counts.

Two things helped with the climb out of the vortex.

One was the compulsion to comment on other bloggers’ posts about world events, even though I couldn’t get it together enough to post. A post on Hamster Central, the personal blog of a California native and Tokyo resident sparked me to comment from the midst of my paralysis:

“As we pray for those in the northern provinces and all of Japan, know that I will be praying as well for you and others who report minor damage. After Hurricane Katrina on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, after awhile we realized that even those who escaped the incredible devastation and loss of loved ones, even they suffered the loss of a unique way of life, their landmarks, their sense of security, and the list goes on.

"Then there is the feeling of guilt and sense of helplessness after you have done all you could do, and things for relatives, friends, colleagues still are not ‘fixed’ and never will be. The road to recovery is long for everyone intimately touched by this disaster, even those who still have homes and family. Be gentle with yourself.”

The second was the sense of tangible, on-the-ground opportunities to help listed by Baptist Global Response here. There are other avenues of giving that do the same thing, I am sure, but BGR and my state Baptist convention’s disaster relief program are where I look first. And I also appreciated that BGR was looking to help in areas that were also devastated by the March 11 earthquake but are outside the tsunami impact zone where much of the initial news coverage focused.

That’s it. Right now I am sitting on our screened porch, blogging once again. At least for now, I am out of the pull of that news vortex, even able to appreciate the visit of the beautiful little female cardinal that just came by to check for sunflower seeds.

The time is always right to be thankful for blessings, and that includes small, everyday blessings.


  1. I'm glad you are getting back to normal. It's so easy to keep thinking; this could be us at any time. These things seem to be happening more and more.

  2. Sometimes the small everyday blessings are the best medicine for our souls.
    I'm so glad we are cradled in the Lords hands. No matter what happens He cares for us.

  3. I too am glad you are back. We just keep putting one foot in front of the other as best we can. In spite of all the bad stuff, our old world keeps on turning, although I just read in Time that the recent earthquake just changed the rotation slightly.

  4. Sometimes this old world just overwhelms us with its natural disasters and man made ones.
    The rebuilding of Japan will take a long time, long after the news media sees fit to cover it.
    We can send what help we can and continue to pray.
    We also have to work to put our own lives right. Guess we will be busy for a while.

  5. glad you are back, do what you feel like doing, we will wait until you feel better no matter how long it takes. my heart hurts for all of them and now the scare with the radiation in their water. this is something that touches all of us and will continue to. hugs and blessings and prayers coming at you NOW