Living on a fault line


I live on a fault line. We all do. They may or may not be geological but we live on very active fault lines. There are tremors daily and no one knows when they will be full blown earthquakes. In Montreal last year, I was in my office one day when I felt a tremor that shook the items on my desk as the building itself shook. Those of us who may not be living on active geological fault lines are living on spiritual, emotional, social, economic or political fault lines where tectonic plates could move against each other without warning, creating earthquakes resulting in thousands of casualties. Our history and our present, individually and collectively, testify.

Calamity surrounds us and no place is immune. Those who do not experience physical earthquakes may be experiencing political earthquakes, economic or financial tsunamis or tsunamis of famine, hunger or pestilence of some sort. The results are usually the same – widespread devastation. While environmental or economic destruction can be detected and repaired, spiritual, emotional, bodily, social destruction are much harder to detect or repair but they are all destructions that could be as localized as to be experienced by an individual or as widespread as to be globally felt.

Fault lines are our reality and that is no news. Science may claim to be able to explain geological fault lines but how do you explain a well behaved employee coming to work and shooting as many people as possible before killing himself? There has to be hope, otherwise we live in a sad world. It makes sense to me for hope to come from outside our world. It makes sense to me for hope to come from the maker of our planet and the inventor of us. I live as everyone else on fault lines but I am not in anyway fearful for myself or my family and those connected to me. The context in which I live as everyone else, demands that there be a refuge and I have fled for refuge.

I believe wholeheartedly that the Maker of our planet and all others who also invented us, during a certain period in human history, became us in order to become the singular solution to the fault lines that developed when evil was willfully introduced into this planet at the onset. I believe that the prevalence of evil and the activity of fault lines resulted in the gruesome murder of the Creator by his creatures. I believe it was all part of the plan to become the solution. I believe that as Creator, he possessed the power to die and the power to live again. I believe he exercised both powers, in the right order. I also believe that as Creator, He has the right to declare that He has earned the authority by the sacrifice of His own life, to become my refuge. I believe that if He says He is my refuge from the activity of all possible fault lines, then He is. I believe that if He says all I need to do is believe in Him then I will be free from fear of earthquakes even though I literally live now in a place that is subject to quakes, He is right.

I live on a fault line but I will not fear, “though the earth be removed and the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea…though the mountains shake…” I will not fear. I have chosen to make the Lord my refuge and I have made the secret place of the most High my dwelling place. Outside of that, I have every reason to despair, to hate living and to propagate hatred and death, knowingly or unknowingly. But I refuse to. For my sanity, and despite the fact that I live right now on a multitude of fault lines, I choose to believe He who said, “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy but I have come, that you may have life and have it more abundantly.” Juxtaposed with all that is happening in this community I live in, this global village, abundant life seems impossible but I have chosen to believe it. I believe it and I will not fear. I must not fear because I need to be a succor, I need to be hope in the midst of hopelessness to others and be a pointer to the refuge.

My personal refuge is God’s Love, as hard as that may be to accept for people going through the effects of different kinds of quakes. For me, that is the only thing that does not get quaked. I believe everything in my life outside God’s love is subject to quakes and destruction, including the body I live in. What sustains it for one more second, I choose to believe, is God’s love. That love is my dwelling place. I have chosen to dwell there because I reckon that nothing in the present or in the future, good or bad, has the capability of removing me from there or making that love which is my dwelling place, to cease being. I am fully convinced that the Love of Christ is the reason I can live on fault lines and even attempt to be an instrument of peace, of grace, a ray of hope. I believe that if that love enables me to fearlessly and joyfully live on the fault lines on which I live, all of God’s creatures can experience the same.

Meaning when the earth quakes

The earthquake has happened to my cousins in Japan. The victims of this earthquake are my cousins and yours too since we are all connected by blood. The earthquake has happened and our Father in heaven continues to do what He does. God continues to love. He continues to reach out to us His creatures, inviting us to live ready like I wrote a few days before the Tsunami, to build Tsunami-resistant structures. He knows that until He takes over this planet, earthquakes and tsunamis will continue to occur and will shatter those tangible things we trust in, leaving intact and untouched those intangibles and unseen realities that we do not trust, which God is asking us to wake up to.

Osuga, a Japanese woman who managed to survive with her family said, “I have come to realize what is important in life” and I think that, in addition to the 60-year old man found floating off the coast of Fukushima, is good news. The Creator in his mercy wants us to live ready and not have to wait until a disaster to realize that our lives require deeper meaning than the material and ephemeral. Life as we know it happens in the context of death and death demands depth, it demands meaning. Permanence does not belong to what we see around us. Even though I wrote in “Please trust me” 3 posts ago that God’s word formed the earth and everything our civilization is built on, the same word also tells us that the things we rely on can be swept away and that is why He says pleadingly, “Please trust me.” Heaven and earth may pass away but the only thing that is immutable is God’s word. He keeps saying “trust me,” whether you are a banker or a priest. If you live on planet earth, the Creator and Owner of the planet keeps saying, “Please trust me, all I want is that you may have life and have it more abundantly. I am the meaning you need, I am the meaning you seek. You need to trust me.”

The fragility and the complexity of our planet demand a higher level of existence than mental or physical. Science is supposed to be reliable but even our scientists agree that earthquakes are too complex to be accurately predicted. Natural phenomena like weather and earthquakes are too complex to be easily predictable at any level of being below the spiritual, which, in our arrogance we relegate to insignificance. The amazing thing about God is that He is not saying “I told you so,” even though He is ever reaching out to everyone of us as we systematically ignore him. The amazing thing about the Creator is that He continues to reach out to each individual in the hope that one more person this instant will acknowledge Him and flee for refuge, to higher ground. As I reflect on this, I realize that it must take discipline of divine proportions for the Almighty, the God who is Love, to submit to His own laws, to His own word, and not step in when we are most in need of help. He obeys His word and He expects us to follow suit. According to His word, He who is Love and Almighty will not intervene in individual or collective affairs before the appointed time unless He is invited.

I have the tendency to shift conversations from what seems to matter to what really matters. In my view, Osuga’s words should be our daily reality whether we were affected by the Tsunami or not. Indirectly, we are all affected because we are cousins and we need to do everything we can to help, including tangibles like money and intangibles like prayer. In any case, we all live on a fault line and our science cannot tell us when the earth will quake. Live ready!

Thank you for reading this reflectively and please read the two posts linked above, as I truly think this post is related to them and other posts like “A place of refuge.” I wrote this from the heart, at the instigation of Lara Daniels, who is a regular reader of this blog. I am honored that she would ask for my thoughts on the matter.