I had a friend in college who was from Japan. She was studying music abroad in the states. She was so thrilled at the time with her performance classes because in her homeland she was encouraged to only pursue music theory. She had to do a study for statistics class and pass out a survey, which she chose the topic funeral music. I think it was hard for her to understand why very few college students chose to participate in the few short questions she passed out in the student union. That has always impressed on me, how our culture flees from death and chooses to delay preparations often until it is too late. This young lady also happened to be a believer, which from my understanding is a rare thing in Japan. I often drove her places, she marveled at our christian bookstores and the availability of resources that we have to learn from.
Since meeting Yuko, I have been intrigued with Japan, there is so much beauty in their movement, artwork, landscape and culture. It is one of the places I would love to visit one day. As I see images on the news my heart grows for this country. I have always pictured the nation as a peaceful place, but in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami it is impossible to ignore that they too are a nation that is in great need. The landscape forever has been changed, lives have been lost, and images show many that are in great anguish. How many words does a picture convey.
My girls have a little travelers video on Japan. They love watching these two sisters as they learn about daily life activities there from a child’s perspective. I believe because of this movie they have shown special attention to the recent headlines and tragedies. They both have very sensitive hearts so I carefully planned a special time with them to learn more about and pray for Japan. We watched our movie, looked at a map and reviewed pictures from the news. Then we talked about sumi-e paintings and allowed them to paint with ink and wash, pictures they saw on a scroll of white paper. For dinner we had a simple meal of noodles and boiled eggs.
O Japan, we pray for you, that you will find hope and comfort in Jesus. That aid will provide warm blankets, food, shelter, and relief. My heart so touched to hear the sweet and tender words of a 4 and 6-year-old learning to care for others in need. Their prayer went like this, “ I pray that you will bring them wool, so they can make sweaters and be warm, and help them to find food to eat.”
Psalm 46: 1-3
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.