I’m ignorant about world geography. If the country of Canada weren’t just an hour and a half away, I’d never be able to say that I’ve technically left the United States. Those global maps with just the outlines of countries? They make my eyes twitch and my brow furrow.
So it is with Nepal, now tragically in the headlines. More than once, I’ve gotten it confused with Tibet. Sure they’re neighbors but one is about 10 times the size of the other (and yes, I had to look that up).
When I hear of global tragedies – be it the tsunami the Thailand, the disaster in Vanuatu (which, again, I had to Google) – I have this sort of numbed response. I read the headlines and my mind can’t fathom such vast numbers of people being killed. I become overwhelmed and I pray in general terms for the families of those lost and for the country as a whole.
But this time, I learned about just a tiny sliver of what happened in Nepal from someone I know and love.
“I was sitting on the roof of a four story building when it happened, overlooking the square, so Bikash and I saw most of the temples get leveled before deciding to make a run for it down all those stairs, which we fell down most of the way. I can’t begin to describe what the wooden winding staircase was like, not to mention the building around it. There didn’t seem to be time to let that all sink in yesterday, but today we feel shell shocked and very ready for aftershocks to be over.”
These are the words I received in an e-mail from my cousin. Who lived –miraculously so – through the terror of the earthquake in Nepal.
Lord thank you for keeping him safe. I pray your peace and your presence be especially felt by the people who lost family, friends, homes, everything. Speak compassion into the hearts of those who can help mend the hearts, minds and cities of those most in need. Draw near to you all those who are feeling unspeakable grief, that they may be comforted by your love and wrapped in your mercy.