I have been waiting for you so we can continue. Mommy II is here and oh, the earthquake hits. Just so you are not caught off guard by the quake, you can read Mommy I.
Mommy woke up with a start. Everything was shaking violently. She held on to the bed as hard as she could. She could hear her family screaming: her daughters from their room, her husband from the living room or was it the hallway? She couldn’t tell. All she just wanted was for the quake to be over. The ceiling began to cave in. The walls around her were struggling to hold. She wanted to respond but she couldn’t find her voice. Tears flowed freely. She wanted to run and be with her family but fear had succeeded in paralyzing her. She felt helpless…just when she was supposed to be strong for her family.
“God, you’re with my family and I, right?”
Then, there was a crushing sound. Immediately, the shaking stopped and a long period of silence. Her room was in a mess and the ceiling above her threatened to fall. At the thought of her family, she panicked. She rushed for the door. The moment she stepped out of the room, the whole roof came crashing down.
She threw herself outside the door into the rubble and stared behind her in horror. That was a close call. She breathed heavily. She tried to stand but her legs gave way and she fell again. She just laid in the rubble and allowed the cold wind to blow over her.
“God, did you save my family?”
It was as though the commotion outside gave her a little strength. She heard the screams of distressed loved ones and shouts of local rescuers. She crawled through the rubble in the direction of her daughter’s room and the living room but she gave up and let out a scream.
She blacked out.
Mommy wept like a baby in the arms of the stranger’s wife as the pictures of the affected areas rolled on the television. The stranger happened to be a doctor in the community clinic she was rushed to and when the clinic was overwhelmed they discharged her in order to make room for others. Mommy was still worried about her family and rushed toward the car park to catch a taxi when Aunty Lizzie, her neighbour and the neighbourhood gossip monger, called out her name and broke the heart-wrenching news to her. No one survived.
Aunty Lizzie claimed the bodies of her husband and daughters were found in the girl’s room. Her husband probably died a hero. He may have rushed to the girl’s room where they all met their untimely death.
Mommy became hysterical.
The kind stranger had compassion and took the wailing woman to his home leaving her in the capable care of his young lovely wife.
Now mommy didn’t know what she was going to do. She thought of her deceased sister’s twins who were in boarding school at that moment and probably oblivious to what was happening to the family they had left in this cold and dark world. Mommy wondered how she would cater for them but realized all hope was not lost. She still had a source of income; her job and a source of encouragement, the book of Job. However, she just couldn’t bring herself to worship God.
“God, I don’t know what to do!” Mommy repeated over and over again.
In response, the doctor’s wife hummed the tune of “It is well with my soul” by Horatio Spafford.
Indeed, it was well with her soul. All she could do now was weep in God’s arms and take the wise King’s advice for any future endeavour,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)”
After all, He promised to be with her and she knew He’ll never fail her.
And until today, this has been her only hope and confidence. Today marks exactly two years after my uncle and cousins died in the earthquake. It has been a solemn morning devotion. I return to reality to see that big black book with the golden cross embroidered into its covers sitting on mommy’s laps as she taught and instructed my brother and I with such passion and joy written all over her face.
There was something about that book and its author.
Kakra and I, Panyin, would always share in her confidence and individually say from that very book, “The Lord is our helper; I will not be afraid…” (Hebrews 13:6 NIV, emphasis added).
Featured image credit: Flickr