The news reports of the devastation in Japan keep pouring in and continue to flood media outlets and social media platforms of all kinds.
I was reminded this week of how much we need to to share in the Japanese sadness while valuing and honoring life, even as we hear of such mind-numbing numbers, statistics and horror stories.
However, in the midst of such darkness and sorrow, there are beautiful things taking place. Incredible accounts of valor and sacrifice that are as heart-wrenching as they are inspiring. Amazing miracles in a time when nothing good seems to be happening. Tiny sparkles in a sea of sadness.
Did you hear about the four-month old baby who was found virtually unscathed, days after she was snatched from her parents’ grasp by the tsunami?
Or consider the story of the 60 year old man and 70 year old woman, both of whom have separate accounts of how they survived when the rest of their village was swept away completely. The man survived by clinging on to his floating roof top for 2 whole days. (Read about all three accounts here)
Perhaps the most heroic and inspiring occurrence would be that of the 50 workers at a nuclear plant (Fukushima Daiichi) who have chosen to remain (while 800 of their peers had been evacuated), in order to work towards preventing a meltdown and the ensuing massive loss of life that would inevitably follow. They know fully well that this could potentially be a suicide mission yet they are putting their lives on the line for their country. They are choosing this. Real-life heroes in real-time.
There is no greater love than when we lay our lives down for our friends.
Some of us may have heard this before and now we are actually seeing it.
Telling these stories of miracles and sacrifice will not bring the thousands we have lost back to life. This is a fact. But we bring light into darkness when we highlight the moments of intense beauty and selflessness that surface in the face of the most horrible tragedies. We saw it in catastrophes like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina in the U.S., and now we see it in Japan.
Today, I am encouraged because I am reminded that miracles happen every day and there is hope within the madness. Don’t get me wrong. We mourn the immeasurable loss and we validate the immense sorrow with our deepest of sympathies. Let’s do that.
But let’s also recognize beauty when it surfaces and let it sparkle and shine.
What are some other stories of beauty, miracles and sacrifice in Japan you’re seeing in the news feed today? Please post the links below in the comments so that we can all share in these sparkles of light!