Posts Tagged ‘Lava’

The Blessing Community

August 4, 2018

On May 3rd, 2018 the Kilauea Volcanic Eruption began spewing lava and rocks into people’s backyards in Puna. Over the ensuing weeks lava flowed over houses, roads, and entire neighborhoods. Thousands were displaced.

Kilauea-volcan-fissure-8-lava-fountainThe eruption continues. There is no end in sight. Land and memories continue to be consumed by lava. People are hurt, mourning, and desperately in need of way forward, a path towards recovery.  However, you can’t rebuild during an ongoing disaster or in the middle of an active lava field.

All of this is stressful. It is stressful on the people whose houses have been destroyed, some of whom are still living in emergency shelters. It is stressful on those who live near the eruption and are dealing with bad air and contaminated water. It is stressful on government, non-profits, and churches who are called on to offer hope and help.

Hope is in short supply at the moment. Help is not. The local communities of faith, who have been working over the last few years to address family homelessness, are taking action. Buddhists, Mormons, Unitarian Universalists, Jews, Protestants, and Catholics are all working together to provide volunteers, meals, relief supplies, pastoral care, temporary shelter, housing, and more to those impacted by the disaster.

Full recovery from this disaster lies many years into the future. There are no quick fixes. Most victims will never return to their homes, which are buried in an active lava field. Victims are stuck waiting and feeling hopeless while government and others work on a recovery plan.

What hope exist is found in the inter-religious cooperation of our faith communities. Their prayerful action and deep faith provides inspiration during these difficulty times. Their willingness to set aside differences in order to respond effectively to suffering is the living reality of a Blessing Community.

Eventually, a recovery plan will come together. It won’t be perfect. Some will be able to rebuild and start anew. Others will struggle. A few will never recover.

People of faith can’t do everything. However, when they work together they can offer hope and healing — Blessing — to all, even in the most difficult of situations.

Peace, Paul

Photo: Public Domain Photo from USGS

Yet another 2018 Reboot: Big Island Lava? — Judy K Walker

May 4, 2018

My wife writes here about life in Hawaii and gives a nice update on the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occuring in our little bit of Hawaii. Peace, Paul

I know, this is supposed to be an off week for the Blog, but I thought I’d share something anyway, in case you need a break from political crazy with real world, Hawaii Island crazy. No, we haven’t had another nuke scare, but we are circling back to a popular theme… Yesterday was the first…

via Yet another 2018 Reboot: Big Island Lava? — Judy K Walker

Love and Hope

September 30, 2014

christ of the bread lines

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” St. Paul


Here in Puna, on the Big Island of Hawaii, we seem to be transitioning from one disaster into another. In August, Hurricane Iselle pummeled the Puna district. No lives were lost, but many lives were disrupted.

Now, we are watching, waiting, and stressing as a snaking flow of lava works its way down from the volcano towards the populated areas of Puna.

There is very little to be done except make plans to evacuate and help those who will be displaced. Against volcanic lava, the living life blood of Madame Pele, we are powerless to protect peoples’ houses, businesses, and livelihoods. Loss and suffering are the nature of this world.

Adversity, such as this, can bring out the best and the worst in people. Hopefully, those of us who have rooted ourselves in a religious practice can respond with compassion and forgiveness. It is in these difficult times, when people despair and feel lost, that we, as religious practitioners, can provide support, strength and hope. Not with fancy words or religious dogma, but through compassionate action that reveals our deep concern and love for all.

There are certainly very real and concrete actions we can take to alleviate physical suffering. However, to relieve this existential angst, we must be willing to open our hearts to the fundamental, and shared, pain of human existence. The very real human experience of loss, insecurity and mortality.

It is a pain we all know. It is a pain we often try to avoid. However, if we are willing to set aside the judgements and fear and the stories we tell ourselves about others. If we quiet the mind and still the fear inside our own hearts, then we can see each human being as they truly are: A precious being worthy of love and compassion.

Often we we fail to love each person we meet. It is an almost impossible task. But we are people of faith. We have faith that if we keep striving to love all, to hold each person dear, that slowly, over time, perhaps over life times, love will begin to leak into our lives and relationships despite our flaws and imperfections. And at the right moment, when faced with someone who is lost and in need, that spark of love may be just enough to awaken the faintest glimmer of hope.

Peace, Paul

Photo: Christ of the Breadlines by Fritz Eichenberg