The world is broken-hearted and scared right now. The tragedy in Japan from the tsunami and earthquake. The threat of nuclear radiation spreading. The upheaval and war beginning in Libya. The images on the news are too much to bear. So much in fact that I have not looked at them. I have to admit that I have remained naive and clueless about most of what is happening in the world right now. When I heard about Japan all I wanted to know was were the people that I know of and those I love alive and well and are we safe from the tsunami warning that was issued for the west coast. Once I heard the answers of both those questions I withdrew. I blocked it out. I closed the door on Japan and the suffering.
I hate to be this person, and in many ways, I am usually not this person. I am the woman who sat in front of the TV for days watching 9/11 footage and missed youth group to sit and watch reports of the Columbine shooting. I am the one who keeps newspapers about major bombings and reads everything about earthquakes on the Internet.
But I can't do it anymore.
I have to go into self-preservation mode.
You are probably reading this post thinking I am a selfish, closed-minded, heartless person who could care less about the problems of the world so long as my own bubble isn't harmed in the process. But that is not true. I do care. Sometimes, I care too much. To the point of anxiety attacks and insomnia and tears and phone calls to my Mom about risk possibilities and Internet articles about the largest earthquakes and tsunami's on record and magazine articles about survivors and Anderson Cooper's voice on the TV in the background 24/7. Sometimes, I get so obsessed that I end up in the chair at my counselor's office crying about how to live a functional and healthy life without fear of things I can't control.
So this time around, I am doing things I can control to avoid becoming the worst version of my fearful self. I am keeping my distance from the news and only reading the headlines on the msn homepage. I am praying and then letting go. Because if I don't, I will never leave my house. I will cry for those suffering and I will go into hiding to postpone my own.
But know that I am praying for those in Japan. Praying that the nuclear radiation will get under control and that those lost will be found. Praying that those without power and gas (like my coworker Reiko's parents) will have it shortly. I am also praying for Libya. Praying that World War Three will not begin. Praying peace will be restored and that people will stop being abused. Praying for the brave men and women from home will be safe as they risk their lives to bring justice, in addition to keeping me safe here.
To those in pain, to those with fear, to those who are sad, and to those who are hiding from it all, I pray that you will lean on God, because He is the only thing constant in this crazy place we live in and He will not turn away from that which is unknown, painful, scary, tragic, or out of control. When we are weak, He is strong. Amen.