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Monday, March 14, 2011

My Emergency Response Plan

"Is this the end of the world?"

My wife, Mynnie, asked me that when the Towers fell back in the '01. Obviously the world kept spinning. Some Yak herder somewhere woke up on September 12, scratched his butt and made the tea over the dung fire the same way he always did and never heard nor probably cared too much that some fools flew some planes into some buildings on the other side of the ball. But i don't think my wife thought the Towers were going to fall on all of us. She probably meant, is this how the end of the world starts?

A better way of saying it may be, "Is this the end of life as we've known it?" Does this event signal a larger change? It's an understandable question. Folks look at all the natural disasters in the world, the growing power of cyclones and hurricanes, the volcanic, seismic and subversive activity. The growing political unrest in... um...everywhere and they begin to worry that their comfortable little petroleum fueled, latté driven lives might be about to veer off into the bridge abutment of calamity. Time was when Damocles' sword was made of Mutually Assured Nuclear Annihilation. Now it seems that while we were fretting with one eye on the sky, Pestilence, Famine and War were salting the ground under our feet. If one were to open their hearts to fear, it feels as if we're just one economic crisis away from a global meltdown and there doesn't seem to be enough seawater to pour on the rods.

So what do we do? Live in fear? Live in denial? Eat, drink and pinch Mary for tomorrow we die?

i suppose we could and i feel sure many will, just as they did moments before the waters rose around the Ark or the fiery hail fell on the streets of Sodom but i would like to suggest a better emergency preparedness plan:
  1. Pray for guidance, strength and mercy
  2. Trust that you'll get it
  3. Love God with all your heart, mind and soul
  4. Love your neighbor as yourself
i'm told by a fairly reliable source that if you use this plan, even if you die you will find eternal life.


  1. It's a good plan. I've been thinking of your "hubris" comment lately. Snow in the mountains seems like nothing compared to the other things the earth can do.

    Watching TV coverage is mostly just fascinating -- how can that actually happen? -- but then I hear about people who lost children or spouses.... and then last night I couldn't sleep and was sad about the fragility of life. I have these kids and I cuddle them up, but it will end, be gone -- at any moment it can all be torn apart. It's very scary to have a shaky faith when thinking of such things. Why is it shaky? Hmmmmm. Perhaps it isn't, really. Perhaps there will be an analysis another day.

  2. Faith is as much a gift of grace as peace, hope and joy. i don't mind praying for yours.

    My breath catches in my chest and i feel all shaky when i watch those scenes because i know i'm watching people die. Watching an entire town/city just ... disappear into churning black water... it stops me. i want it to not be real, to be a movie but i know it's a more real life than the life i'm living. And i remember that the ground i'm standing on stays stable only by His grace too. i am ashes and dust and yet i am sooooo loved and fearfully made. It is the duality of our existence. Princely (or Princessly ;) humility.

  3. This reminds me of something I heard about Mother Teresa, so I googled and found an article:

    A bit comforting, but mostly terrifying. I guess I'm a scaredy cat. It's true.

  4. A very interesting article. i only vaguely remember the flap about that but the idea of the Silence of God is alive and well in more than just the Catholic church. We have songs about it and i've heard more than one pastor do a whole sermon series on it. The book of Job is all about it. The one Father hits on it though, it should drive you back to Jesus. And when you do, you'll find he's a lot closer than you think...

    In Matthew Jesus tells a story...
    34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

    37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

    40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

    A lot of people get bugged by this story because it's one of judgement, which it is but that's missing one really beautiful point. That Jesus himself suffers and is with every poor person, everyone in prison, everyone lost, alone, hungry, thirsty. He didn't promise us a life without suffering, He promised that we wouldn't suffer alone. He's not far away. He's right there and i'm pretty sure that He would answer a prayer as simple as "hugs?"