As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float.
Quote From: The Loss Foundation
India, May 2016
(Go to bottom for video)
Weather showed up in a very bad mood. Yip and I stared out the front door into a thick, muddy, blackness that whipped across our children’s home campus. It was early evening, but Light had totally disappeared —and so had the sky. Six meters away, our son’s house was barely visible and cloaked beneath a dark, murky blanket. Yip was concerned about his wife being there alone with young children. With apprehension, he whispered, “Shall I go over and find out if Lara and the kids are safe?”
“NO!” I tugged hard on his arm to pull him back into the doorframe. There were no “ifs” or “buts;” Lara was at home with her children and some of the boys —at least we knew she was “at home.” Our son, Asher, and most of the older boys were hiking in the mountains, far from home with only the cover of a tent; obviously, there was nothing we could do to help them… and so we worried. The storm seemed to come swooping down from the Himalayas where the boys were hiking.
Suddenly, I felt overwhelmed; subconscious fears erupted inside of me and kept me tightly clutching onto Yip’s arm, as though he or I would soon be lifted out into the turbulence. My experience of Storm, like Déjà vu, fifty years ago, interfered and distorted the present mayhem. It was all too clear… I was terrified then, and again, now. Tornado ransacked my memory. I focused on again on the present storm.
Wind was first to come swooping in. The younger boys were out playing in the field. Our oldest son, Sonu, yelled at them from his porch, “Head home!” He wanted them safe before Storm hit, but as he looked toward the mountains, he saw angry, dark Wind approaching like a speeding train. He yelled again, this time shouting louder to the children, “Get into my house fast!” Wind swept one of the younger boys off his feet —he made a short flight into the air. Seconds later, the boys piled into Sonu’s house. From the safety of the windows, they watched the savage Wind ravage the campus.
Night creeped in after Storm and Wind had been washed away by Rain, which came down hard. In the aftermath, Yip and I heard the older boys screaming, “the small boys’ roof has come off and everything is getting drenched!” I ran to an east window and saw only a few boys run, but heard on the south side the sounds of many frantic padding feet. Was everyone safe?
Asher and the boys arrived home; oblivious to the havoc —unaware it had even happened. Twilight covered the land like a heavy cloak weighted against our hearts. We feared devastation and injury. The younger boys’ roof had come off; huge and ancient trees lay flat on the ground —their roots upended and bare; the campus trampoline was wrapped around a tamarind tree. Water tanks from roofs rolled along the ground and half the school roof stood full height against the row of trees bordering the neighbour’s property. When Asher was told the news, it was more than he could bear —so much recent building work destroyed. He’d returned from the hike re-energized and rejuvenated; this news was like a truck of bricks dumped on his spirit. He stayed inside with his family, unwilling to survey the damage until morning.
Yip and I had been in India since 1974. Building the campus included hard work —blood, sweat and tears to be exact. Every tree had been planted, every building carefully laid, brick by brick; yet we realized this was another episode to add to our journey. We were grateful that no one had been hurt. Houses are replaceable, trees can be planted again. Having gone through the devastation together, love drew us tight.
How could I have guessed that past experiences in my life, would be of value to me in the future —a training ground for fear and love? Perhaps the Tornado, the childhood storm which obliterated our house and our whole neighbourhood had a reason for the ruin it caused. Tornado did left its mark of fear in my heart, but love kept growing stronger and overriding fear.
Life; a word that means more than what a dictionary can express. But surprisingly, the dictionary doesn’t say, “a wonderful and frightening thing, designed by God”. We must figure that out ourselves. I forgive Weather, Wind, Twilight and Darkness, Storm and Tornado, because they can’t and won’t ever separate us from love.
For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced—beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in
Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39 AMP