It’s time for cherry trees around the world to begin to blossom, and the fruit trees in my yard are treating us to a lovely show.   My heart breaks for the people of Japan who would normally be enjoying this tranquil beauty, but, this spring, are being faced with such destruction and hardship.

I’m deeply attached emotionally.  I have dear friends in Japan.  I’ve been there.  And I know firsthand the ordeal of picking up the pieces after disaster, striving to stay strong and move forward, wondering when the electricity and water might flow, hoping life will someday feel normal again.

I’ve been remembering our first encounter with widespread misery.  It was Hurricane Hugo in the Virgin Islands in 1989, and the chaos of the storm and the aftermath was… I can’t find a word.  Tears come.  I can’t find a word.

We were 37 days without electricity and running water.  Drinking water was scarce.  One night after a huge hotel had reopened, we went with friends for supper.  The menu was limited, but they had iced tea.  Iced tea!  I wept.

Like cherry blossoms, the beautiful carefree days in life are not constant.  There are seasons in our lives when that kind of serenity is fleeting at best.  We must remember to savor those moments.  Don’t rush past them.  They are there for the taking.  Please pause today. Enjoy a cherry blossom in your path.  Pray for those who are struggling to find one.  Hand them one if you can.

Enjoying dinner after church services in Japan, 1993.

6 Responses to “Sakura”

  1. Marcea Clive says:

    We are so blessed….Thanks for sharing

  2. Dawn says:

    I can’t comprehend the daily struggle. Pray for strength, hope and perseverance to make it through each day with God’s arms wrapped snuggly around Japan

  3. Robin Green says:

    After Typhoon Paka destroyed our apartment, you and Gary dug out of your own mess of downed trees and debris. You came to find out how we were, gathered us up, and sheltered us at your home. No water or electricity for months in some parts of the island. But you were champions. I pray that many in Japan will be touched by such friends.

  4. Sandy says:

    Oh Robin… just the word “Paka” brings more tears. It’s wonderful to be able to lean upon good friends. So thankful God has given us the great gift of friends and family… especially in times of crisis.

  5. Kim Mann says:

    Thank you for these reminders.

  6. Betty Williamson says:

    Beautifully expressed, Sandy. In a time when there really aren’t words, you’ve managed to find some. Thank you.

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