The Chinese symbol for crisis is in fact, a combination of the symbol that they use for danger, and the symbol that they use for opportunity.
The other morning we watched from some kind of suspended reality, as a mother and a father tried to find their two-year-old son, buried underneath the rubble and debris of the merciless earth quake that shook China to its very core last Monday.
This mother and father had, just two days before, dropped their two-year-old off with his grandparents before they went to work, never suspecting for one moment that they were about to be caught up in the cruelest of nightmares.
Then, without notice, the quake hit and their reality would be forever altered. Days later they would finally get the help they needed to dig deep into the massive heap of concrete and metal in hopes of finding their son and parents alive. They spent hours and hours looking, waiting—hoping against hope.
It is disaster season and I watch them from the safety of my bedroom, remote control in hand, ready with finger poised on “power off”, just in case. For so many people, life as they have known it will be changed forever. I resist the temptation to put myself in their shoes.
I hate it when disaster is brought to my attention because it reminds me that we—we are not in control! I hate it when crisis intrudes because it forces us to have to “rise to the occasion” when we rightfully feel like we should be able to just fall out. But, could it be that crisis is really a good thing because it allows for the possibility of something brand new to emerge? As I watch that mother and that father discover that their son is not alive, I surrender and release the remote control. As I listen to them mourn him through their tears, I can’t hear possibility at all.
For thousands of years the Chinese have practiced that, although crisis can be a dangerous time, it also provides fertile ground for golden opportunities to emerge. China, today, is clear about the danger. I just hope against hope that someday soon, opportunity will rain on them again.
God bless you mothers and fathers as you grieve today trusting that tomorrow might be better somehow. And if it is true, and I believe that it is, that every cloud has a silver lining, then my prayer is that—your silver lining comes to you this day.