During my time with Sharp electronics I visited Japan many times. I have traveled in the area where the tsunami washed away everything in its path and the nuclear reactors spew radioactivity. Watching the pictures on the news I cannot believe the destruction of this once beautiful country and I suspect some of the people I met died on that terrible day when the wave hit.
I guess this is one of those times when we ask, "Where is God? How can God let this happen"? It is strange; most Japanese would never ask that question as for most God does not exist. Immortality comes from what is accomplished in life that will be revered by future generations. This makes the tragedy even more devastating because what has been accomplished was washed away nothing is left for those still to come.
I know deep sadness fills the hearts of those left behind; a great sense of helplessness overwhelms them and yet the resilience and courage of the ordinary people of Japan will just make then all the more determined to rebuild. They will work together helping each other in ways that stretch the imagination of those of us living in the west.
Under normal circumstances there are no food banks in Japan. All people have enough to eat. Large companies find ways to give all people work even if, to us, it seems to be the equivalent of a Western make work program. It allows dignity and takes away the sense of accepting charity.
Here in Canada nine hundred thousand people use food banks every year and feel that overpowering sense of helplessness that comes when one loses dignity.
Our government talks about corporate tax reduction. They say it will cause large companies to hire more staff. We forget that when the royal bank first announced a profit on one billion dollars they laid off three thousand people to accomplish this.
Perhaps we need to take a leaf from the Japanese and try to understand true success and profitability only comes if we all share with all people so we can all lift our heads and feel a sense of dignity.
This is the time to ask the leaders of our political parties what they intend to do to end the need for food banks in Canada and tell then if they want our vote they must strive to allow all people of this great land the dignity we all want.
Perhaps our greatest sin is that of indifference to the plight of others. The letter of James says, "Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill, and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself if it has no works is dead".
The people of Japan, for the most part, are not Christian yet they seem to understand that if one of us is diminished we are all diminished and that if one person loses their dignity the dignity of us all is lessened.
If we truly believe that God loves all things God created and Jesus came for the poor, the sick, and the lonely can we, as Christians, do less?
As always it is only my opinion.