This afternoon I sat watching the coverage of the Asian tsunami with my sister-in-law. For the first few days, there weren’t too many pictures of the waves or the aftermath, but today they flooded the screen. It was a reminder that we in the U.S. we are just a button-push away from knowing everything that’s going on, but in other parts of the world the news takes days to be reported. There are islands off the coast of Indonesia from which there is no word yet. The waiting continues, and the grieving.
The image of a mother holding a dead child in her arms lies in stark contrast to our visions of Mary holding the baby Jesus in hers. But Mary and Joseph were as poor and as powerless as the people of Asia and Herod reacted as fiercely as any force of nature when he ordered his soldiers to kill all the children under the age of two.
Relief came in a dream to Joseph and Mary, and they took the baby and fled Herod’s killing spree. They were not swept away.
As a little girl, I had a cherished illustrated Bible, and in it I remember a picture of the little family, with their donkey, sitting under a palm tree, safely on the road.
As the people affected by the tsumani try to recover from this disaster, I pray that relief will include not only safe water and food but a chance to stop and breathe and feel the safety of connection with those they love.