people running to gather family members,
more sirens indicative of something even worse than the earthquake – a tsunami.
Only minutes to respond, perhaps even less…
The images so compelling, so frightening to those of us half a world away.
Screaming, yelling, calling out the names of loved ones,
too often met with deadly silence.
Rescue operations, some happy endings –
too many more a moment of knowing what had been feared was true.
Nuclear power plants shaken, incapacitated,
brave workers doing all they can to restore stability.
Billowing smoke, evacuations: milk, vegetables tainted,
now even water supplies compromised.
A courageous people, already beginning clean up as they can.
Out of our common humanity the world responds in prayer,
in gifts of tangible supplies and resources.
Out of chaos, the predictable pattern of shared hope and compassion emerges.
Life is a powerful force – it will not give in to chaos.