Green: What to do when life's earthquakes leave you shaken and stirred


In the summer of ’09, some new tourists showed up on a beach in San Diego. Apparently, after an earthquake caused quite a rumble, a squad of giant squid became disoriented and washed up on shore. The 40-pound, 4-foot-long sea creatures have eight arms and two long tentacles. Each arm has hundreds of suction cups, each one surrounded by tiny, sharp teeth. It has two enormous eyes and a sharp beak, into which it thrusts its prey. Once inside its beak, the prey is ripped apart by a tooth-covered tongue.

Renae Green column

Not my idea of a friendly pet.

Yet, in spite of their ferocity, you’ve gotta have some compassion on the poor creatures. There they are, swimming along, minding their own business, headed for the underwater McDonald’s for dinner, when all of a sudden, KABAM! An earthquake strikes, swirls them around, and spins them out of control. Next thing they know, they’re floundering on shore while some strange two-legged creatures poke and prod them.

Well-meaning passers-by tried to drag the creatures back out to sea, but the squid were too heavy and sprawled out to drag very far. They just kept washing back up on shore. To my knowledge, most of them died.

May we share a moment of silence, please?

… Okay. Now that that’s done, we should really talk about this earthquake problem. I mean, I used to think that if those crazy Californians chose to live on the edge of the earth, that was their business. But a few years back, Dallas residents experienced a 3.3-level earthquake. Yes, you read correctly. That’s Dallas, Texas.

Apparently, a minor fault runs through the area. And yes, if there is a fault, there will be earthquakes.

That’s just wrong. If I wanted to live on the edge, I’d buy a home in Hollywood. But when I have chosen to play it safe and live in cowboy country, I shouldn’t have to worry about the earth opening up and swallowing me.

It goes to show that none of us is truly safe. We can do all the right things, mind our own business, go to work and pay our taxes and do everything right. Just like those squid. And still, we can’t protect ourselves from disaster. Earthquakes come. Tornadoes blow through. Cancer strikes, or someone hurts us when we didn’t deserve to be hurt.

Some things are simply out of our control. Then we wake up, dazed and confused. But like those squid, we have a Rescuer. The difference is, while the would-be squid-savers were humans, our rescuer is the Almighty God. He might not shelter us from each disaster. But He promises to stay with us through every storm. He promises to give us strength to endure. And He promises that, no matter what, His love for us will never, ever fail.

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken,” Isaiah 54:10

Renae Brumbaugh Green is a bestselling author and award-winning humor columnist. She lives in Stephenville with her handsome, country-boy husband, nearly perfect children, and far-too-many animals. Connect with Renae at www.RenaeBrumbaugh.com