Around 1:51 pm EST on Tuesday, August 23rd, an earthquake hit the East coast. It had a magnitude of 5.9.
Like many in New York City, I was sitting at my desk wondering if I was imagining this tremble under my seat. As I looked around, it became clear that it wasn’t my imagination when I saw the book on my desk trembling as well.
The earthquake being confirmed, it was a sight to see as people, some in shape, many not, struggle down the stairs to reach the ground floor from twenty one levels above. The sigh of relief was unanimous as we saw the sunlight breaking through the door.
As the door opened, the scene of people unsuccessfully trying to reach loved ones on their cell phones and discovering a dead line was widespread. In a short, thirty second time frame, the fragility of life was alive in our hearts.
As shaking (no pun intended) as this moment was, I couldn’t help thinking, “Its a good day to give the gospel.” This was a humbling moment.
I doubt songs like One Republic’s “Good Life” or Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” were running through people’s minds. When reality hits that life isn’t forever, one doesn’t find comfort in
“Put on your shades, ‘cause I’ll be dancing in the flames...It isn’t hell if everybody knows my name.”
No matter how pop stars try to glamorize it, when life’s quickly blooming flower to be blown away, delicate nature is realized, going to Hell just doesn’t seem as cool as it did when they were singing about.
Many people often ask when a tragedy occurs, like the earthquake in Japan, why they happen. If the truth is told, for many, tragedies or life threatening events are the only times when focus can be turned from a finite perspective to that of eternal, and one looks to God.
Pop culture isn’t designed for the long term or turning one’s heart to God. Its focus is “Last Friday Night”. With this constantly intoxicating the culture, where can God get a word in? We need sobering moments to tame the prodigal in us, so we can “come to [our]selves”.
After about an hour, we were let back into the building. A joyful visage consumed the room, as if to say “That was a close one” as we took our seats again. Thinking about the shaking hearts that accompanied the shaking buildings, I couldn’t help but think “ Its a good day to give the gospel.”