On the day after the devastating tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011 my son, 9 years old at the time, and I were watching the news and the images of the overwhelming destruction. He asked no questions but spoke these words, “These terrible things happen because it means new life is coming”. His words echoed those of our founder, Bishop Galvin, speaking of the conditions in China in the early 20th century, “Calamaties are forerunners of waves of grace.”
On June 29, 2012, the Washington, D.C. area was hit by a massive storm resulting in 1 million people without power and approximately 13 people killed. In my community one house was destroyed and countless others were severely damaged. Once we emerged from the immediate crisis, the words of both my son and Bishop Galvin rang in my ears the days following. Could I see with the eyes of my heart to the signs of grace amidst the rubble?
When I fixed my gaze on neighbors helping neighbors dislodge trees from their roofs, or the adventure of eating dinner by candle-light with my children, or the city opening emergency cooling centers for vulnerable members of the community like the elderly and the very young, my heart was moved at the sight of love floating to the surface.
What I saw in the days following the storm was that our true light comes from within and our real power comes from sharing that light with the world. So while the utility companies may have ‘restored’ power I could see that the people had reclaimed our power in those moments of darkness.
Tent my son Francisco built from fallen tree limbs after the storm.