Today is the anniversary of the bombing at Pearl Harbor which occurred in 1941. Even though it’s an event far from most of our memories, it’s impossible for me not to remember the history when it’s right in front of my face on an almost daily basis. US Navy veteran Lauren Bruner is being buried there today – he is expected to be the last USS Arizona survivor to be interred on the sunken warship.
We were preparing for our second round of pedophile arrests back in May and setting up our command post on Ford Island, a historic military installation adjacent to Pearl Harbor. I had to take K9 Lulu out for *ahem* doggie business when I saw it: a Japanese submarine sailing up the waterway headed into Pearl Harbor. Its sailors casually chatting and standing on deck taking in the beauty of the Hawaiian islands. I took this picture. Most people wouldn’t have noticed it – as military vessels from around the world routinely pull up to Pearl – but I was struck at the fact that almost 78 years later, the country that so badly bombed us in this exact spot was being welcomed so freely. And not only were they being welcomed, they are some of our strongest military allies and friends today. [As a side note, it’s funny how God keeps using this dog to help me witness new miracles. Because I wouldn’t have been out there otherwise.]
Friend, I know relationships can be so messy. And I know that this messiness can also make the holidays exponentially more difficult. That friend, family member, or co-worker who hurt you so bad? I know how impossible it is to be around them. I know you’ve prayed about it, and you just don’t see any way to get back to what you had. You acknowledge the part you played in it (umm…we dropped the two most devastating bombs in history on Japan). You’re trying your best to follow God’s commands and show love, but the best you can do is pray about it…and make like Road Runner through a brick wall whenever you see them coming.
I don’t know how God is working in that mess, but He is. And trust that one day all this brokenness will lead to something beautiful designed to showcase God’s glory, mercy, and grace.
The reconciliation treaty between the US and Japan was re-signed in 1960 by “Japanese Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi…who played an important role in reconciling Japan’s militarist, aggressive past and its democratic present.” “Kishi” translates to “riverbank” and is used in a Japanese phrase that refers to “one who tries to keep a foot on both banks of the river.” At the time, Time Magazine argued that even his name pointed to the fact that he was “born to” do this role of shepherding peace between the two nations (funny how God drops little hints like that), but the healing process between the US and Japan began decades before...
As with us, the only way to healing is through surrender.
Surrender your struggle to God. Surrender your pride. Surrender your attempts to control the situation. Surrender the guilt hanging over your head, because you're still pretty angry about it. Surrender the uncomfortable emotions you keep stuffing down so you don’t have to – ugh – feel. Remember how He worked previous miracles in your life. Trust that you are enough. Trust that He is with you (and them!) and that one day, He’ll take a relationship destroyed by a bomb and fashion a new, stronger, and more beautiful connection. Because He is enough.
Isaiah 43:18-19 “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the stream.”