Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Groaning Earth

It was April 29, 1965. It was also my junior year of high school.

The day began routinely enough, but it would not remain so. By mid-morning I was settled in Biology Class, having made my usual morning meander by bus from the East side of the city to the school located on the city's North side. It was my daily routine for four years.

There was nothing routine about this particular day.

From somewhere deep in the bowels of the earth came the most hideous sound that morning. It was startling in it's grotesqueness; a noise heretofore unknown to me and the plaid-clad girls sitting alongside me.

With wide-eyed perplexity, we felt the earth heaving beneath our feet. Simultaneously the school alarm sounded. With surprising calm, we made our way down the hallway that would lead us out of the building; away from falling debris and shattering windows. As we made our way, I thought to myself how odd that the hallway itself seemed to inhale & exhale. Locker doors sprung open, as if they'd been shaken to erupt like a pop can.

The earthquake that day registered a mere 6.5 on the Richter Scale, but I will never forget it or the eeriness of it. It's heaving & pitching, and the sense that nothing underfoot was stable gave new meaning to the word fear.

When all was again quiet - - and oh how quiet it became - - the school had suffered little damage. We girls were shaken and distraught, afraid of the aftershocks we were told MIGHT follow. Everyone was sent home, and until my mother drew me into her arms my very soul continued to quake all throughout my home-bound journey.

It would mark the first, though not the last of my encounters with nature's fury. Some years later, in May of 1980, Mount St. Helen's would erupt; and with it yet another volley of nature's scorn.

Today my heart aches for the peoples of Haiti, and now Chile. Within weeks, each of these populated regions have suffered nature's wrath. Old and young alike are living with that quaking of soul brought about by so devastating an event.

Nature is more-and-more intentional with it's groanings, longing for it's redemption. Some days I know exactly how it feels.

For the earnest expectation of the creation
eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

For the creation was subjected to futility,
not willingly,
but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
because the creation itself also
will be delivered from the bondage of corruption
into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

For we know that the whole
creation groans and labors with birth pangs
together until now.

Romans 8:19-22


Debbie said...

I understand how you felt during that earthquake as I experienced the Northridge earthquake in 1994 (?). I was in a high rise hotel and was almost thrown out of my bed!

My heart aches for the people of Haiti and Chile. And you're so right about nature. I believe Romans 8.

I'm reading your blog as my first one from the Sun City house. We have only a mattress and our computers but we're OK.

Blessings and love,

manthano said...

Another sign to be looking up.
Perhaps nature is groaning
more for the Lord's return
than we are.
Thanks for the post and

Karen Lange said...

What an experience for you to have, oh my. Glad you came through okay.
All of this - it is a sobering reminder of the times, isn't it? If we aren't already praying, we need to.

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

oh, wow.

I am hurting for the people devastated by the earthquakes as well. I continue to lift them up.

Awesome verse my friend.

sonja said...

I remember them too... we ran into my parents room in California one morning, and the bed semi bounced across the room... there seemed to be no stability under our feet... so scary.

And yes, my heart also hurts for the many families who have been uprooted and devastated.

A good reminder to continue to pray for so many hurting...



Saleslady371 said...

I can't imagine the devastation Haiti and Chile are feeling. On the upside, I see so many compassionate ones going to them now. I embrace the Roman 8 scriptures.

Heart2Heart said...


My heart too, goes out to those affected by those earthquakes in Haiti and now Chile.

It is very true that we may be on the edge of the prophecies being fulfilled and should therefore make sure we are ready to go. Let us all make sure that we have plenty of oil in our lamps!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Shirl said...

I know the feeling...

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

Kathleen, I thought that image looked very familiar. I love Mt Rainier. We've ridden on our motorcycles around its lower mtn range. Last Summer we road up to Paradise. My pix didn't turn out very good though.

I remember in 2001 when we had our earthquake. I was working on the second floor as a travel consultant doing corporate travel for Weyerhauser. The floors rolls and the building swayed. Many expressed fear much like you described. I wasn't really afraid. I road the waves out and stayed calm. The quake was over. Many were trying to make calls and the phones weren't working. They panicked. I stayed calm watching it all. It was like looking through the glass watching it but not being a part of it. One lady went home and got her little yorkie dog and brought it back to the office with her. I heard many talking about how their things had fallen off shelves. Some mentioned some things were broken. My place only had a few things knocked over. It's amazing the panic and fear that comes over one during things like this. It is pretty scary.

My prayers are going up for those involved.

Rita said...

I have never been in an earthquake, but have been in a tornado and know how very scary that was. Our hearts go out to all those who have felt such devastation.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

What a terrifying experience to literally feel the earth move under your feet and to see such overwhelming devastation! My heart and prayers go out to all who have been affected by these earthquakes.

Yolanda said...

Thank you for your insight as well as God's word. We were in the Hawaiian earthguake a few years back,October 15, 2006. It was the strangest feeling I've probably ever had being a Kansas gal. Something I had never experienced before. Praying for Chili and Haiti.


Runner Mom said...

Thank you for sharing this, Kathleen. I've never experienced anything like this...a hurricane, yes, an earthquake, no. It's scary knowing that you have absolutley no control. That's when we have to remember that He is totally in control, and we must rely on Him. Those folks are in my prayers.

I read your prior post as well. I loved what Cindy shared with you. I have just finished Leviticus this week and was amazed at the Truths I learned in what I had earlier thought to be a "dry" book in the OT. Boy, was I wrong!!


Diana said...

You said it well. Praying for all of those affected.

Just a little something from Judy said...

I've never been in an earthquake to experience what you did. I can't imagine the earth moving under my feet. I read and watch the devastation in Haiti and Chile and my heart just hurts for all those people. I like how you used the verse in Romans about the earth groaning. Somedays it seems to me that everything is groaning in anticipation of the glorious event that is coming. Thank you for sharing with me your thoughts as you went through the earthquake and only when you were in your mother's arms did you feel safe.

skoots1mom said...

groaning for redemption...great analogy

Technonana said...

This whole scene should give us all a "heads up" awareness... so many things going on in our world.
You just never know where and when another Natural disaster may hit.
And Like Many I am so thankful that there are people and services ready to help!!

Nel said...

I cannot even imagine what it would feel like to feel the earth moving under your feet and to see things shaking and lockers opening, such a scary experience for anyone let alone a kid. My heart goes out to Haiti and Chile. I have not watched much on TV because I cannot keep the tears from heart breaks for them.
Thanks for sharing!

until next time... nel

Rose said...

It truly is sad to see how everyone in each of the countries is affected by those quakes. My first thoughts turned to the Word and wondering is this just the beginning of what we will see?
My thoughts and prayers are with each of these countries!

Jackie said...

As I sat and watched the news when the Chile quake hit the news broadcaster turned to a scientist and asked..."Why is all of this happening so frequently now? Quakes, tsunami's, weather changes....what does all this mean???"

I heard the fear in her voice and my heart ached for those who don't know Jesus.

Roman's 8 stirs within my spirit. I believe we are witnessing in our day in our time the birth pains in Roman 8......Creation is groaning and yearning for the Creator!! I know I am!!!

The harvest is ripening.....I pray for the vast harvest coming into the Kingdom in the days ahead. We must be ready!

Thanks for this post sister!!

Sweet Blessings!

Deborah Ann said...

I have never personally experienced an earthquake. I can't even begin to imagine how horrifying it must be! I saw the images in Haiti, and my heart grieves for what they are going through. I guess it's similar to the destruction in New Orleans. When the earth experiences destruction beyond our realm of control, I imagine a person would feel pretty helpless and hopeless. Especially if they don't have Jesus...

Ashley said...

If you died today, are you 100% sure you would go to Heaven ?

The Bible says in I John 5:13, that we can KNOW we are saved eternally and going to Heaven.

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." I John 5:13

1. First, you must realize that you are a sinner.

The Bible says in Romans 3:23, that everyone is a sinner.

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23

2. You must realize what yours sins earn you.

The Bible tells us the penalty for our sin in the first part of Romans 6:23

"For the wages of sin is death;" Romans 6:23a

Because we sin, we earn wages just like when we earn wages for working. Our wages for our sins is death. Because we sin, we deserve to die.

But that's not all, because we sin, we deserve to die a second death as well ...

"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." Revelation 20:14

Because of our sins, we also deserve to die the second death: to be cast into the Lake of Fire ( Hell ).

3. Jesus paid the price.

God wants us to go to Heaven, so He sent His only begotten Son to die for us on the cross, so we can go to Heaven !

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

4. What must I do to be saved ?

God only asks one thing of us to be saved.

"And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Acts 16:31

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Romans 10:9

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Romans 10:13

If you believe that Jesus died for you and rose again so that you can be saved, and you simply ask Jesus to save you, He will :)

I just wanted to make sure you knew 100% sure :D

God bless you and your family !

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Hurricane Floyd swept through our little town in 1999, baptizing everything in its path. How well I remember being retrieved from my front lawn in a boat and the aftermath of rebuilding that followed over the next year. It nearly ruined us in the process. I am forever marked and changed by its devastation. I saw both the best and worst of humanity in that time.

Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus and calm the groaning ache within.


christy rose said...

I have never experienced more than a little shake of my dresser, that I originally thought my dog made happen by scratching himself underneath of it. I can not imagine the feelings of fear that would come into the heart of children that experienced what you did as a little girl. It does bring fear to so many and the devastation is relentless for those who experience even more of the intensity of the groanings of the earth. I am praying for all of the victims of the recent earthquakes.

a portland granny said...

You bring back many memories. My third-grade classroom was on the side of the building which faced Mt. St Helen's. As I remember it, it spewed ash periodically for several weeks or months before it finally blew. One of my students would always spot the spewing and we would hurry out the door to the parking lot and watch the awesome sight. We had a glorious view and took advantage of it. When it finally "blew" it certainly was a reminder of how powerless man is against God's mighty power. I remember the ash everywhere, gutters were filled, and it was going round the world on the winds and being found in almost every country. What a day that was as we saw the power of God being unleashed. We have a constant reminder of that day as we so often see the grand, old mountain in her snow-covered splendor....but without her glorious pointed top!