This past Sunday, while hanging out in the coffee shop at my church, I read to my peers the latest tweets from my Twitter feed regarding the tragedy in Japan. An elderly woman whom one can assume to be in her 60′s or 70′s listened intently as she hovered around us and mixed her sweeteners and cream into her brew. To our surprise, the elderly woman interjected with:
“Well they (Japan/the Japanese) deserve it after sneaking up on us 70 years ago at Pearl Harbor… This is what they get.”
Yes, it was silent for a several seconds with our mouths to the floor from the disbelief. It was like the “spirit of Pat Robertson” all over again.
Someone broke the silence with “I’m not even going to get into this right now,” trying to show self-control by diverting their attention to their cell phone.
I responded with a snowballing “Rrrreally?? Umm…This has NOTHING to do with anything that happened seventy years ago, and it’s actually quite tragic, and NO ONE deserves to be going through any of this right now…”
That’s all I could say as I found my voice rising, my vision blurring, my head and hands becoming hot, and my body inching towards the ignorance personified before me. My heart rate increased. My blood boiled, but I had to remember my place and behave rationally.
I was surprised that she didn’t bring God into the picture with us being at church and all. If she did, I probably would’ve ended up in prison…or on the news…not really…but yeah….no…
In situations like this elderly lady and her view on why Japan got what it “deserved,” it takes a lot to not jump down someone’s throat, fingernails first. I’m wondering what kind of ignorance is going on out there right now because when tragedy hits, people are so quick to point and blame, hindering help and healing. Though this situation still haunts me, reminding me of the mess Pat Robertson left last year his comments about Haiti, I know that I have forgiven her. It wasn’t easy. Heck, she’s set in her ways in her 60′s or 70′s, and who knows what she has experienced? She’s been corrected, and it’s between her and her Creator now.
I mean if you were in that coffee shop with me, what would you have done or said to her? Nothing? Anything?