A Safe Place

Last week, news sources everywhere were focused on Dean, the season’s first dangerous hurricane. When it breached the coastline of Mexico, it was a Category 5 storm, the highest-possible intensity on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale.

Not more than three weeks ago, Simi Valley was shaken in the early morning by an earthquake with an epicenter not far away. Less than a week later, just after noon, more shaking occurred in our area. Within the last couple of weeks, an earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale jolted Peru, resulting in the deaths of more than 300 people.

Satellite images of Hurricane Dean were spectacular and frightening. I felt extremely insignificant and vulnerable when I realized the power and magnitude of this storm, like a schoolyard bully, moving indiscriminately and without mercy over land and sea. Earthquakes, like terrorists, assault our homes and our lives without warning. No building is absolutely safe from its destructive power.

Citizens in Southern California are urged to keep earthquake kits and a supply of drinking water readily available. People in the path of a hurricane are urged to leave their homes and low-lying areas and move into shelters for safety. In reality, although we can take certain actions to improve our odds, we are incapable of assuring our safety.

My security is not assured by the strength of the steel in freeway overpasses or the density of concrete in buildings, but rather in the God of Creation, whom I believe will achieve His purpose in my life. I have determined to spend my life exploring all the ways I might live—rather than fretting over all the ways I might die.

by Chaplain Ron Hyrchuk

August 30, 2007