Thoughts on the East Coast Quake

Thoughts on the East Coast Earthquake

“Man, That’s Whack!”

I’m not new to Earthquakes. I have been through a few quakes while living in (or visiting) Southern California. The first quake I experienced, I was 12 and poolside of my fathers North Hollywood apartment complex when a medium sized (by west coast standards) earthquake hit, and I had never experienced anything like it.  My Dad says, as he tells the story, that I just walked around the pool for several minutes watching the waves and the water spilling over the coping of the pool saying, “Man, that’s whack!” over and over again. “Man, that’s whack!” (It was the 80′s cut me some slack.)

When the East Coast quake hit I was on vacation, in Bethany Beach, and knew right away that it was an earthquake. The two babies, Collin and Max, were taking their afternoon nap and Rachel and the older four (yes, 2+4=6) were on the beach. I was sitting inside the beach house working on my book when the house started moving with that unmistakable feel of standing on a wood plank rolling on marbles underneath you.

I immediately tried to call Rachel because I thought, just for a second, that if the epicenter was out in the Atlantic Ocean that, however unlikely, we would be in a whole lot of trouble, but the phones weren’t working. Still concerned about the location of the epicenter, and my inability to communicate with my family, I did what anyone my age would do— I Googled it—and sure enough the epicenter popped up immediately in Mineral, VA.—Whew! (What did we do before the internet, again?)

You Never Know What The Day Will Bring!

One of my “take-aways”, stemming from the quake, is to remember that you never know what the day will bring. It was a really beautiful day outside, it was peaceful, the kids were napping and I was working on my book—bammo! Earthquake. This life is not a permanent deal, and we (I) need to be reminded to: 1. Live on purpose. (What is your purpose?)  Are you living out of the most important story/things in your life? Or, are you majoring in the minors? 2. Asking/wrestling with the MOST important questions while we are alive on this planet. Who is God? Who Jesus? What is my purpose? What is my calling? What happens after this? How can I serve God and others today?

We are blessed…

My second thought is to remember and be thankful for how blessed we are! Not that merely the earthquake wasn’t bigger, but that the infrastructure, medical facilities, and communications systems here in the US are unparallelled around the world. Take a look at the country of Haiti who, already one of the poorest countries in the world, is still trying to recover from much of the devastation from January 2010 earthquake.

 …to be a blessing!

I am not going to make a direct connection between recent earthquakes and the end times prophecy of Matthew 24, like some have been doing, but I am going to say that this earthquake is a reminder to us, the wealthiest nation in the world, to remember the other places that have suffered greatly and our responsibility to give back what has been GIVEN to us! If you would like to help the people of Haiti I would like you to consider checking out the organization and ministry of Community Coalition for Haiti.  You can read more about their on-going ministry to the people of Haiti and can make a secure, tax deductible donation here.

Your turn! Where were you when the Virginia quake hit? Was it your first quake? What were you feeling?


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  • Joshua Harper

    I wasn’t in Virginia at the time, as I am RVing in Maine right now with some friends, though my uncle was there. He lived in Ohio all his life, much more experienced in tornadoes than earthquakes. When it happened, he was speaking with a friend on the phone, the phone line dropped, and he heard a roar as everything began to shake. He was at the basement door automatically within seconds before he realized it was a earthquake, not a tornado.

    I completely agree with your three thoughts. You really never know what the day will bring. You have to ask the tough questions while your on Earth. Unfortunately, no human lives forever, and you can’t put it off, or say that you will have time later.

    We are truly blessed! Haiti is a terribly sad situation. So are many other places all around the Earth. Here in America, my father has a job, I have clothes on my back, three meals a day, a warm bed to sleep in. Not to mention the pleasures of soap and running water. A lot of these blessings are overlooked. We barely notice the workmen, cleaning our streets after a disaster, or the repairmen, making sure we have power and running water. I really noticed how blessed I was when I first went with Homeless Hope. I spoke with many people, including a group of homeless children, playing football with a ragged ball. And yet, through all their suffering, a lot of them had amazing faith in God and Jesus. You don’t truly notice blessings until you lose them. So take a moment, and say thank you to the LORD.

    I hope everyone is doing alright with Irene. I heard there was quite a aftermath.

  • The Ordained Barista

    You are right on the money with the “overlooked blessing” category like soap and running water. I have been trying to drink more water, instead of ice tea, not only because it’s better for me but because every time that I see CLEAN water come out of my faucet it gives me the such cause for thanks. I just think about how many people/children die every day because of something so simple….clean water. Not to mention that all I have to do is to turn a little water handle…. I don’t have to hike 2 miles in the middle of a war zone…ya know? Anyway, thanks for the great comment and taking the time to respond!

  • Eric Garner

    I did enjoy this blog post thorougly my friend in ministry. For many years and for two years you have been by my side listening to myself wanting to live with a purpose. The traditional life style of “American Dream” doesn’t wine and dine me as it may for some. (I am not hating on being successful or earning an income and living a good life.) Is it life to the full, purposeful or is it dull, plain and you are left wondering what else you need to achieve or buy to fill that void? That is what I am asking. You’ll see how my response ties into your post in a minute I promise.

    I was in Woodbridge, VA. at the time of the quake sitting at a stop light in my car. I purchased a used car back in Feb. in which you just hope it will run months later. (I was wise about my car buying decision) But once the shaking of my car began to get more intense I thought to myself, “great my car is breaking down and many other drivers are going to see my true colors as I scream in agony.” Agony? Really? Immediately my thought process went into how rediculous my response would have been if my car would have broken down. My car breaking down if far better than an entire country that has little to begin with, Haiti, be smashed to almost nothing. I remember the rest of the day all people were talking about was our little hick up underneathe the earth and how, “crazy” it was. Crazy? Crazy is a 10 story building falling down during an earth quake and entire families are lost in seconds. Now that’s crazy.

    Barry, I’m alittle on fire tonight about the world we live in and the direction it seems to headed in. How people are so surprised about natural disasters and the chaos that comes with them; but even worse how people react when something so minor goes wrong in there “I” life.

    I feel like I could write and write about how I’m being an emotional diva right now; but you must live for a greater purpose than yourself. Sounds cliche but so true. Living for yourself is minor and sacrificing is a 10 on the scale.