Folks, I’ve been a little dissappointed, dismayed, saddened and curious about my own reaction to the tsunami tragedy; I am moved but not moved as much as I thought I should be. Perhaps it’s because I am still grieving for my beloved father who just died three weeks ago, or perhaps I am still recovering from the shock of my spouse’s recent surgery and heart attack. Perhaps I am comparing the tsunami to 9/11 somehow. I keep finding similarities. Perhaps I’m also confused because I don’t know what the message is from G-d that we are supposed to receive, knowing that more than 114,000 people were killed on one day in a natural disaster.
Is it that the tsunami is a natural disaster and that in itself calms me? That it was a tragedy that man himself, for once, did not commit?
Perhaps I am being forced to ask, once again, why? Why do these things happen?
Well, I found one answer that comforts me.
“The kindness of God is all day long.” (Psalms 52:3)
We mustn’t forget the greatness, mercy and love that God has for us every minute of every day, even as we suffer tragedy, disease, loss, and death.
Rabbi Pliskin says in his book, “Growth through Tehillim: Exploring Psalms for Life Transforming Thoughts” :
“Whatever day it is right now as you are reading this, the kindness of God has been there for you from the beginning of the day, until this moment, and the kindness of God will be with you for the rest of the day until the new day starts. Tomorrow again you will be a beneficiary of the kindness of God, and this will continue each and every day for your entire life. This has been going on from your very first day of life and each and every day after that until this moment.
Allow yourself to be aware of being the recipient of constant kindness for an entire day. Every movement you make is an aspect of God’s kindness. Everything you own is an aspect of God’s kindness. Every interaction with other people has aspects of this kindness. Every bit of food you eat and any water you drink is an aspect of this constant kindness.
And what about the things that you usually overlook? On the day that you decide to become
more aware of the kindnesses you experience, you will be notice more and more things. You will see what you might not have seen before. You will hear what you might not have heard before. You will feel feelings of gratitude and joy that otherwise you might not have felt.
You will find yourself being more aware of God’s presence. You will allow your mind to be filled with thoughts of appreciation of God’s kindness to you. You will be more present oriented. You
will focus less on anything you are dissatisfied with about the past. You will be free from stressful thoughts about the future. You will be focused on the present kindnesses. ”
How exactly does my mind direct my thoughts to thoughts of kindness? I look down and see that I have two arms, two legs, two hands, I acknowledge my two eyes and my two feet, and thank God for my health.
The knowledge of what we do have and what we are able to do is something for which to be grateful.
I thank HaShem this day for His loving kindness and for His mercy He has given me for my whole life.