The devastation stares back at me. In the midst of flipping through a photo gallery of 80+ photos of the aftermath of a massive typhoon that slammed into the Philippines, I can only stare in horror. Tragedy doesn’t even seem to be a word that’s adequate. I stare at these photos and hot, blinding tears come, but no words. Shaking my head and dropping tears is all I can seem to do. Photos of dead bodies, of elderly people fighting the winds and rain, shock-faced and terror-stricken people staring down at horrific ruins– ruins that used to be their homes. Photos of crying babies clinging tightly to their mother’s bosom. It’s heartbreaking.
I’ve never been to the Philippines. I don’t know much about their culture really. But I’ve come to love the Filipino people. Yes, through blogging, I’ve met a few of these hard-working, kind and caring people. Without a doubt, they’re truly some of the nicest people I’ve met in the blogosphere.
And then there’s the young Filipino man my family met just a week ago today who was the general manager of the out-of-town deli we visited for lunch. I keep thinking of him. How he stood and talked to us during our lunch. His warm smile. His sense of humor and how he went out of his way to be kind to us. Made us feel so welcome in his restaurant. A sincere and beautiful smile that’s now forever etched in my brain. Told us a little about what it was like back home in his country– what a hard-working people the Filipinos are. The struggles they endure. He told us how he ended up here in the states. We talked about some of the differences in Americans and Filipinos. I think about what he did for my 84-year-old mother-in-law when he found out it was her first time to visit the deli…. how he left and retrieved a large freshly made strawberry shortcake (which just so happens to be her favorite dessert) and handed it to her and said it was a gift from him for it being her first time to eat there. A kind gesture by a kind man with big brown eyes and a beautiful smile who I can’t stop thinking about now.
Who knows why typhoons slam into island countries, wreaking havoc and destroying so many lives. I have no answers. Just like I have no answers as to why people would walk into a mall, airport, movie theater, or a college campus and shoot innocent people. Or why terrorists fly airplanes into tall buildings. Or why tornadoes strike and within minutes, too many people are dead and homes destroyed. Or why my friend had to die in a tragic car accident in July. Or why my parents both had to be stricken with cancer and suffer before they left this earth. No answers. Only prayers.
Today, I can only go down on bended knees and pray for the Philippines. God bless them all.