This morning I woke up to the news about the earthquake in Japan. The scenes of destruction that were shown were horrific. The tsunami wave flooding the streets and washing away buildings, boats, and cars was just as bad or worse. The fires and threats from the nuclear plants all added to the drama of the day.
My mind was not on the hundreds or thousands affected by this disaster today. Of course I thought of all the people who were caught up in the tragic events of this day, but one name kept coming to me.
Yukio Yamaguchi was a foreign exchange student years ago. We were her host home and we fell in love with this amazing young woman. She was very open to learning all about us and our culture. She worked hard with us to communicate. Yukio became very dear to us. Though she was not required to attend church with us, she insisted that we let her come. She was so intrigued by the Good News of Gods' love for us in Jesus, that she asked for a bible. Later a friend from church provided her with a bible in Japanese.
It has been many years since we have heard from Yukio, but today her name was in my prayers. I thought about all the other people and wondered if anyone cared for them by name? Certainly their loved ones did, but was there anyone from far away that cared? The answer most assuredly is "yes." Jesus cared. Jesus prayed to His Father for all the lost and broken people who were calling out in their terror. Jesus knew their names.
I enjoy a special song that speaks of "The King who remembers my name." I love that thought. no matter how many Carolynn's come to Jesus, He knows my name. He knows me. He can pick me out of a crowd and call my name with just the right nuance so that I know it is me He calls. Whatever part our Yukio had in this event, if anything at all, Jesus knows her name. He knows each person who had died, lost a loved one, or has had their lives turned upside down. I can pray for the people of Japan, but only one soul by name. God is more than enough for each and every person there.
Father, You are still in control. You are aware of every life and every name that has suffered today. You have loved each of them. You have always been there for them if they asked. Though I do not understand it all, I know that You are good. I believe, Lord, Help my unbelief! Thank You for being present even in the disaster. Help those who would call for You to find You quickly and believe wholeheartedly. Lord, if our friend Yukio was touched by the earthquake and tsunami, please help her, be with her. Thank You.