Preface: Two weeks ago on Monday, November 2nd, I came home from work and climbed into bed and as my body relaxed the tears flowed. My heart was there with the land in which I was born. I couldn’t even string words to explain what I was feeling, as I learned that Hurricane Eta had devastated Central America. Today, Monday, November 16th, in the midst of another devastation I was reminded of a poem I wrote while in High School.
This poem was written by a young gal wanting to process Hurricane Mitch in 1998. I would visit Honduras a year after that hurricane and intensely felt the devastation alongside my family. Here we are 22 years later and I am feeling the same sense of loss and grief for the beautiful country of Honduras. I am grieving the loss and devastation so deeply.
I hear my little sister’s laughter as she plays, joyfully enjoying the sun’s soft fingers as they caress her warmly. The day smells of sunshine and roses.
Suddenly I turn around to the sound of thunder
Approaching us is an evil gray cloud
It spreads a felling of gloom over the entire world.
Instantly the laughter stops the laughter stops.
The beautiful smell sours,
And silence is heavy as fog.
Only the sound of the howling wind
Threatening with death is heard.
The rain starts, slowly at first
Spreading a clear blanket of water over us
It does not stop,
it intensifies like rocks pelting my soul
Stinging through and reaching my whole being.
No pause just pouring rain
It seems as if each drop brings forth God’s fury
I feel as though He is trying to wash us away.
The neighborhood is desolate
Everyone has evacuated
Escaping this rain created sea,
Afraid its depth will swallow them up if they stay.
My family had to stay
Where could we go?
We huddle close giving each other warmth,
We need each others comfort and strength to go on.
The food is gone
Our time to depart has come
The river will soon flow over
Where my neighborhood once stood.
Oh, God, I tremble with fear
Thunder rolls in hard closer now
I know the current is headed this way.
“Run!” I hear the words “Go now”
We start running
We wade through waist deep water
We must keep running leaving all behind
We run into the frigid arms of fear.
In a second my hand slips from my mom’s
I turn to look
She is gone with my sister in her arms
the current fierce and swirling is all I see.
I cry out into the deathly night
I beg, “God please hear my plea.
God, how will I live?
Where will I go?”
The current has taken all I loved.
I’m just a child, I feel so small.
How do I go on alone?
I turn to the sound of anguished cry
It’s my neighbor and school friend.
He also cries out begging God please!
The pain is too much to bear
Our souls feel as if they are shattering
Our entire families are gone.
We trudge towards each other
Through the rain we find each other
Afraid to be alone.
Time exists no more, hours turn into days
Not knowing what life has in store for us
We walk anyway
Long hard hours of walking
Through rain, lakes of mud, and fields of dead bodies
The tears have not stopped falling
We cannot give up now
We must reach help
We must live
The loud crash bursts from behind
I turn in time to watch, as if in slow motion, a mud slide
Carrying and turning over everything in its path.
I stand my mouth agape
I watch my country crumble into pieces
Along with it our dreams
And our hard work
When will this end, Oh God,
When will your mercy shine down
Will your strength help us survive?
The rain has stopped.
The sun has crept out of its hiding place
Drying the wetness left by the rains
But unable to dry our tears
Our hearts will cry forever
As this tragedy is engraved in our soul.
A sound again behind me
I turn not wanting to see more pain
A truck is near to take us to safety
I look up into the tear stained face of my blue-eyed neighbor,
His arms envelope me.
He says: “ We made it
Together with God’s help we will survive
I turn to my pain and suffering.
Yet I know, I am not alone.
My eyes into the distance are gazing
As I cry not knowing what awaits us
I reminisce on the beautiful past instead.
Still reeling from the shock of this odyssey I am scarred for ever. But hope, like the sun breaks through I will see more good in this Life.
Hope In Grace,