We do practical projects in CHRISTWORKS that come out of our faith in Jesus Christ. I still remember visiting a little church near New Orleans. They had been pretty much wiped out by Katrina and were in a race to get on their feet again. We helped a little bit. I still remember the visits, the stories, and the helps we were able to provide.
Valleys in the scriptures speak of some hard times. Psalm 23 is a favorite reference in such times but there are other examples as well. A short time ago, within days of the Japanese disaster, I had observed and sketched Vallis Alpes (see the sketch below). It is a noticeable landmark on the moon surface. Within a short time of the sketch I was watching the results of the tsunami and earthquake in Northern Japan and couldn’t help but think of disasters we had been in but also the severity of this particular one. I am sure there were believers taken away by the wave of water and debris, and others that are still trying to survive in the aftermath.
This particular valley on the moon is very long. It would take a long time to walk its length. Some disasters are that way–taking grace and perseverence to get through the long ordeal. Believers are not shielded from disaster, disease, or untimely death. These events are opportunities to hold on to God, to love others in need, and to persevere.
I doubt I will see this valley on the moon quite the same again, because it will remind me of this event. In a recent trip to the Philippines, a group we are helping received some help from friends in Japan. One never knows when the shoe might go on the other foot–when those who once received help might have to give it. But with the mind of Christ in believers, they will have a concern for others.