Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What a Beautiful Mess

Oh. Life. 
Did you ever have a time in your life where really great things and really bad things happen all at the same time, leaving you extremely confused and happy and sad and confused and scared and confused?? "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." I feel like I can see God working in everything happening around me, but I'm still not sure where it will all lead. 

It was the worst of times: a dear lady in my church passed away yesterday. She had been ill for so long, suffering more than I've ever seen anyone else suffer. I hated seeing her on her deathbed, her body struggling against the pulling away of her soul. I hate death. But knowing that she is no longer in pain, no longer struggling against the ways of this world, is such a comfort. She was at peace with leaving; she knew where she was going. She has finished the course and is at rest, but we are left behind to toil on. My thoughts grow heavy, and I only pray I will leave this earth with the same strength that this godly woman had. 

It was the best of times: the past couple of years, God has taught me some difficult lessons. I struggled against learning them with all that I had. Nothing went according to plan... at least, not according to my plan. But through that dark cloud of tears and the veiling of God's will, I finally feel like I am coming through. Like I finally understand that God does know what He's doing. That I'm not forgotten. 

None of this has anything to do with "paradise" or "Hawaii" really, but it's just what's been on my heart. I've always said that paradise isn't what it appears to be. Life continues on in its endless cycles just like it does on the mainland. It is beautiful, it is messy. And I sing praises that I don't have to control it all. 

Among all this, I am without my own computer. After two years of faithful service and two years of unreliable constitution, my pc has died for the last time. I ordered a new computer today, but until it arrives, please have patience with my scattered writings as I am using someone else's Mac in the mean time. 


Friday, March 11, 2011

Tsunami in Hawaii

Only yesterday, I was down by the harbor taking photos of the calm water that reflected a gorgeous morning sky...

Last night around ten o'clock, I heard about the tsunami warning in Hawaii. A huge 8.9 earthquake that occurred near Japan had sent out pulses of energy that would reach the islands around 3 in the morning. These tsunamis are hard to spot in the ocean until they reach the shores that lie in their path. Although technology is highly advanced and we were able to predict the tsunami, it is impossible to predict the exact height of the surge or the damage that it might cause. We knew that the energy waves were travelling at 500 miles an hour across the Pacific Ocean, quickly passing the thousands of miles between Japan and Hawaii. Only time would tell what would happen early this morning.

People bombarded the gas stations and stocked up on water and supplies. Some along the shore were evacuated to higher ground. After we studied the map to discover that we were outside the flood zone and didn't have to evacuate like some of the beach-front resorts did, I turned out the light at 1:30 when I heard that Midway (on the outermost regions of the Hawaiian Islands) had only seen a surge of a few feet. This morning I woke up dry, safe, and warm. The tsunami has done minimal damage to Hawaii, and I feel very thankful to God for His protection even here, on a vulnerable spot in the middle of an ever-reaching ocean.

Later this moring, we drove down to the harbor, where it was easy to see the irregularities in the ocean waves. The tsunami wasn't a Day-After-Tomorrow tidal wave. Instead the tsunami caused irregular surges, flooded waterways, and unpredictable currents - hidden dangers. We watched as the water flowed into the harbor raising the water level a couple of feet before seeping back out to sea. Watch the small pier in the photos below to see the changes in the water. When we first arrived, the water was up level with the top of the pier.

Small boats that I had seen only yesterday bobbing peacefully in the water, are now capsized.

Out beyond the barrier, I spotted a few spinner dolphins jumping out of the water as if nothing was at all wrong. Inside the harbor were a couple turtles attempting to swim as the strong currents pulled them in and out with the surge.

I feel incredibly blessed to be so unharmed, especially as I hear about the massive destruction in Japan. My heart goes out to the people there. God in His providence is watching out for us, and I know I am undeserving in His protection. With hundreds dead and thousands missing, this is one of the worst earthquakes Japan has ever had. I feel rather silly seeing the small surges in our waters here as the day continues sunny and bright, when I know that on the other side of this ocean lies a people suffering. Feeling rather helpless, I know that God is in control. Keep praying for the people in Japan!

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