How does one even begin to conceptualize almost 20,000 dead, most likely more given that the recovery work in Turkey and Syria is really just at its beginning. The photos of what transpired didn’t even seem real, almost looking like stage sets with the concrete crumbling like clay. How could a newborn even survive the trauma of such a birth, one that killed her mother while giving birth? How do the workers have the endurance to continue seeking life, celebrating hope as one more is found despite the odds? How does one comfort those with unthinkable losses of loved ones, feeling the guilt of the survivor?
I have no answers, but just recognize the only way anyone can even begin to process such tragedy, whether directly affected or smitten through our common bond as humans with hearts, is knowing that we are not alone in this suffering. God is in it with us, suffering with us, being the only light of hope as we keep learning of the unimaginable depth of this tragedy. Such cataclysmic events no longer seem unique, just different in location and number of fatalities. Perhaps all generations suffered so. Or perhaps we are in times, at least in my lifetime, that seem worse than I can remember.
I am just returning from a work trip in NYC. I spent several days there and was struck by how different it was, even from the last time I was there in September. It was really quiet. No constant taxi horns blowing, not even crowds around Times Square. NYC just didn’t seem like itself, and I have visited it a lot! As a child until I left home for law school, my family from Ohio journeyed every summer to “The City” to get a good taste (literally) of our Jewish heritage. I’ve also had many trips to NYC as an adult. This one was different. I don’t know if the quietness had anything to do with the tragic earthquake or maybe more people working from home. In any event It made me wonder if our being drawn to connect to our common humanity through this unfathomable tragedy had even quieted the usual business of the City.
Recently my havruta sisters and I have been praying for our young people, our own children and those we know, and generally for this generation. What a challenging time to be young, some raising families, and not have the strength and hope we can only get through belief in our Abba. How comforting to have the closeness of His embodiment through Yeshua to share our innermost fears, and hopes. God is not responsible for such tragedies. He is what brings us through them.
These are the times to renew our faith, share it with others who doubt, for without it, one cannot feel hope, for our lives seem completely out of our control, which is a reality. Conversely, with faith in God not only is there hope, there is understanding that He will never desert us, no matter the depth of our despair. With Him we are never alone in our struggles. He lifts us from the lowest points in our lives. He is always with us and does make Himself known when we seek Him. He will make us strong when we have no idea how we can even go on one more step.
Lean into Him, even further. Bring others to Him with you. Bolster each others’ faith. Love each other even more deeply, for life is so fragile. Share love and resources with those in need. As we do these things we deepen our love of Him, and when we do that, we will feel His Love of us all the more. We can’t change world events, or many of our most challenging personal situations. We can choose to love Him like never before.
Such love is for these days.