"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Still hanging on, still civil

     Three days ago I read on someone's blog, I've forgotten whose, this personal account. As soon as the worst of the disaster was over, the blogger, an American wife in Japan, went to the market (like everyone else) to stock up on supplies. A shopkeeper showed her to the shelf which had held some items she needed. There was only one left. As she reached for it, someone a little closer picked it up. The shopkeeper said to the American woman, "Zannen (too bad)." The other customer heard her, turned around, realized what she had done and carefully placed the item back on the shelf.
     The American left it there,too.
     So very, very Japanese, that respect for others. What an example for us Christians!

I meant to post this last night. I assume the civility still holds.
From yahoo.com With aid slow to come Japanese fend for themselves: by KRISTEN GELINEAU and FOSTER KLUG, Associated Press Kristen Gelineau And Foster Klug, Associated Press Fri Mar 18, 11:13 am ET
KARAKUWA, Japan – There may be no water, no power and no cell phone reception in this tsunami-struck town, but in the school that serves as a shelter, there are sizzling pans of fat, pink shrimp.
Relief supplies have only trickled into the long strip of northeast Japan demolished by a powerful earthquake and the wave it unleashed a week ago, leaving affected communities to fend for themselves.
Many have risen to the occasion.
No water for the toilets? No problem. Students in Karakuwa bring buckets of water from the school swimming pool to give survivors the dignity of a proper flush. In the kitchen, a giant rice cooker given to the school by a resident sits on a table, steam rising from the heaping mounds of rice inside.
"For a long time, in the countryside, even if you didn't have enough for yourself, you shared with others," said Noriko Sasaki, 63, as she sat on the ground outside another relief center in the town. "That is our culture. Even if they're not relatives, we feel as if they're sisters or brothers."
. . .  
In the kitchen, teachers, mothers of students and the newly homeless whip up three meals and two snacks a day.
The women mix together squid, shrimp and stir-fried vegetables in large pots, turning it into a nourishing stew that they ladle onto bowls of rice. They're delivered with slices of apples throughout the building.
In the middle of one classroom, a group of boys plunk themselves in seats around a table, the bowls of stew sending plumes of steam into the air. In unison, they bow their heads.
"Thank you," they say. "For everything."
Then, their chilled hands armed with chopsticks, they gobble their dinner down.


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