Thursday, November 30, 2017


Epicenter Dover Delaware (about 1 1/2 hours away)

This afternoon at 4:48 I was just putting the finishing touches on my second to last skit (of this batch) for the company I’ve been working with (providing funny, grace-filled skits for progressive churches). I was due for a break (my back was bothering me), and I was planning to transition to Blog Post #3, when all heck broke loose. The house definitely shook. My scented candle skedoodled across the desk, and I could feel the intense rumble from attic to basement. For an instant I doubted the stability of our house, and pictured it in rubble. But then, in a flash, it was over—no harm done chez Seyfried. 

I was once again reminded of our geographical good fortune. Earthquakes (or “earthshakes” as my little ones used to say) are quite rare in the Philadelphia area, as are tornadoes and  hurricanes. We don’t even get that much snow! How did we get so lucky? Some might say that our status as the long-ignored sibling of behemoths NYC and DC has been punishment enough. But in reality, it’s just been random good fortune, and I don’t expect it to continue forever.

Among the (many) questions I have for the Almighty someday are those related to natural disasters, and their disturbing frequency in countries that can least afford to recover. I mean seriously, how much more can Bangladesh take? And, in this hemisphere, there is our ever-struggling sister Haiti. In the last few years, Haiti has been hit by hurricanes and floods and a significant earthquake. That on top of being the poorest nation in this part of the world. Even when all is meteorologically calm, summer temps soar past 100 degrees, with humidity to match. People live there still, and work, and raise their families, but under a never-lifting cloud of strife. When Haiti was colonized, their beautiful mahogany trees were cut down all along their mountain ranges, and sold. As a result, now, when the torrential rains come, there is nothing in place to stop the mudslides.

Why was I born in the US instead of in Haiti? Talk about your accidents! But here I am, and I have a responsibility, a sacred duty. I cannot turn a blind eye to my relatives (and we are all relatives) in peril. There are incredible organizations (Food for the Poor among them) that are dedicated to improving life there, but there is such a long way to go. I need to do my part.
Meanwhile, I sit in my intact, sturdily built house, rocked by a mere tremor. I picture a house in the developing world, crumbling to dust, the inhabitants trapped within. And I pray for a fair deal, for everyone. May we ALL survive our “earthshakes”, together, united when disaster strikes. The world, often a pretty scary place, is much less scary when we aren’t alone. Pray for Haiti, and Bangladesh, and everywhere Mother Nature shows her cruel streak. And then, let’s see what we can do to help.

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