Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Snapshot of the last four days..............

This was my first view of Hawaii - from the plane window!  That is Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach!  It was a much welcome sight after the very long (9 hour) plane ride.  We were delayed leaving Chicago because they had to "De-ice" the plane!  Yes, it is APRIL!  But that morning it was snowing/sleeting and about 30 degrees.  It made getting on that plane much easier knowing we were going to 80 and sunny!  

Our days have been full and wonderful!  We have sat on the beach, eaten lots of seafood, and walked a great deal.  We have seen same amazing things.  But today was beyond what I was imagining.  
This is the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.  We actually came to Oahu because we knew that we wanted to visit this place.  I made reservations well in advance of our trip and was given 2:30pm today.  Everyone said that unless you get reservations in advance you will never get in since it fills up quickly.  The weather was less than ideal - windy and rainy.  When we got to the ticket booth we were told that most likely they would be shutting down the ferry out to the memorial by noon because of the gusty winds.   We took the first tickets that they had (which were for 1:00pm) and were told that it might be possible to get in earlier "on stand by" if you waited in line.  I sent out an urgent text to my small group to pray that the weather would clear and that we would be able to get out to the memorial.  We got in the stand by line at 11:25 and the 11:30 group was lined up.  We were so surprised when the guard motioned us in saying there were 7 empty slots!  Thank you Jesus for answered prayers!  (And for the "miracle" of texting that makes prayers happen over amazing distances at the tap of a phone) The movie that is shown first was............... well words really escape me.  I guess serious, sad, amazing, unbelievable, are all words that come to my mind.  Most was actual movie footage from the events..... and some of those images will be in my mind for a very long time.  Then you take the ferry to the memorial.  The ship is visible in the water and there are rings of oil still escaping from the tanks.  It was 15 minutes that I will not forget.  Both my dad and Ken's dad served in the Navy in World War II.  I remember very clearly my mom talking about that day....December 7, 1941 and what they heard and how they knew what was ahead.  I was wishing that our parents could have had the chance to visit this place.  

The movie was interesting because it pointed out that there were a couple of mistakes made by the United States that helped make the attack successful for Japan.  The actions of just a few men brought about the United States participation in the war.  I love that the USS Missouri is docked right next to the Arizona. Japan signed the surrender ending the war in the Pacific on the deck of that ship.  This represents the "book ends" of  WWII for the United States.  The Arizona marks the beginning and the Missouri represents the ending of that terrible time. The emotions of this visit were very much like those I experienced when visiting the World Trade Center Museum in New York City last summer.  
It is never more clear -  the effect of sin on this world.  

 I was so thankful that there was beauty all around us to help refocus on all that is good and pleasing.  We took a long walk and then later, watched the sun dip into the ocean.....
There is more to share but for today, this is enough.  God is good.  He is beautiful and He reigns over this earth.  Now more than ever, Jesus needs to be revealed to the world!  And we need to be the ones to show the world just who He is!
"The entire universe waits with excitement, yearning to see the unveiling of God's glorious son's and daughters!" (Romans 8:19 - The Passion Translation)

Jesus, thank you for amazing sunsets and flowers and trees and birds.  Thank you for the ocean and the waves that wash over my feet.  Holy Spirit, keep us mindful of the power that we have to show the world who Jesus is.  Keep our hearts sensitive to the reminders of those who have gone before us.  Amen

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