What can we do when natural disaster strikes?

Written by Wally Amos

               I was traveling this weekend, when the Japanese earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck.   It affected me the way it has affected many throughout the world.   Disbelief.   Sadness.  A profound feeling of helplessness.   Those of you who know me, know that I have a deep belief in God.  And so it is natural for me to turn to God in a time of great tragedy.

                A number of public figures have expressed their opinions about God’s place in this disaster.   Some have said that it either means God doesn’t exist or is punishing us.  I’m not sure why people feel the need to place blame.  I certainly don’t pretend to have the answers; I only know what feels right in my gut.   I am turning to prayer, which offers hope in a time of despair, comfort in times of calamity and peace in times of distress.   

                I’m praying for miracles.  I’m praying for those who are experiencing the desperation of searching for loved ones.   I’m praying that God will provide peace and comfort to the families who are grieving.   I’m praying that the orphaned children and bereaved parents find the strength to overcome this extreme hardship.    I am praying for the vanished villages and the horrific uncertainty of possible radiation.   I’m praying that God will give strength to the aid workers and medical personnel.   I’m praying for the resolve of governments and those with power to help to get involved.   I’m praying that through the generosity of the privileged, the destitute might glimpse hope, warmth and live again.  

                I’m not sure who originally said it, but I once read that as a human race we are all connected.   When one is hurt, we all hurt.  Let’s all see just how powerful prayer really is.  Have faith and trust in something greater than yourself, whatever you wish to call it.


  1. Missy Blackman   |  Friday, 18 March 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Beautifully written, Wally. I think that you have expressed what many of us are feeling. It doesn’t matter whether you believe in God, Brahman, Allah, Yahweh, Krishna or just an unnamed higher power. The act of prayer and compassion are healing. Thank you for this.


  2. Cain K.A. Kamano   |  Saturday, 19 March 2011 at 1:35 am

    As a “Defender of the Faith”, I, for one, absolutely know that God exists. But more importantly, not only is it that he is All Powerful, and All Knowing… But that he is ALL LOVING as well.

    I commend you Wally for taking a stand and sharing your beliefs here. It is refreshing, and is much appreciated. It shows me how much you love people… no matter what race, creed, religion, or background they come from… we are all of God’s children. And as such, I know he loves us very much!

    I could go on and on but I’ll just end by saying that I’ll be praying, that all your prayers, are answered! Keep up the great work.

    Mahalo Nui Loa,

  3. Max Gritner   |  Friday, 25 March 2011 at 9:15 am

    A powerful statement. Maybe one of the most powerful that I have read regarding this disaster. Everyone feels helpless. So many people and organizations are collecting money to send to Japan. Sometimes I worry that there is no way for us to know if this money is going to the right place or not. But we always know that prayer is going to the right place.

    Wally, you are an amazing writer. A powerful writer. I’m just blown away! I look forward to reading more about your life philosophies here on this blog.

  4. Lulu Grothers   |  Friday, 25 March 2011 at 10:04 am

    I am not altogether sure that God exists. If he/she does, I cannot imagine how he/she could allow such a thing to happen. If we are truly all his/her own children, how could he/she treat his/her children in such a manner? It is all very confusing. Still, you make a good point in saying that during times of extreme disaster, someimes we have to put our faith in something higher than ourselves because there is nothing else that we can do. Maybe belief in God keeps us from going crazy during this awful time.

  5. Yukio   |  Monday, 28 March 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I read in today’s newspaper about the radiation leaking into the sea water from the tsunami-damaged nuclear reactor. It seems as though this problem could create even worse damage than the earthquake did. I struggle to understand what is going on in the world. I do not understand the fact that Japan’s safeguards were insufficient to protect the plant against natural disasters like this one. And I worry about nuclear plants in our own country of America. Are they truly safe. Praying is good. But I am beginning to think that better safety standards and better government protection is even better. This is a troubling time, Wally. Beyond prayer, what do you propose that we do about keeping the world and our loved ones safe from disaster?

  6. Brenda koch   |  Wednesday, 30 March 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Wally, I read your article in the Costco Connection “Testing Positive” and thought you would like an application that Iphone has called the “Universal Thinking Device”. It is an app that teaches you how to think positive. It is a wonderful app and it keeps me focused all day.

  7. Suzie R.   |  Wednesday, 30 March 2011 at 11:07 pm

    I am also one of those people who is not sure that God exists. But sending good thoughts and wishes into the universe cannot be a bad thing. My children are safe and for that I am thankful. I am so lucky that I do not live in the place where this terrible thing happened. I also feel guilty for being so happy and healthy when others are suffering. Hold on to your children and thank the universe for their safety. I’m sure that if there is a God up there, he/she will understand and be happy to accept your universal thanks.

  8. John Pozadzides   |  Wednesday, 20 April 2011 at 12:14 am

    This was a beautiful statement. It made me cry. May God bless you, Mr. Amos. You are a great man.

    John P.

  9. Jim Drexler   |  Tuesday, 10 May 2011 at 4:08 am

    I haven’t checked in here for some time as I thought you had stopped posting but I see that you are back to printing regularly so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. We wish you the best, Wally. You deserve it my friend :)

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