They may never know how many died when the tsunami swept over the city of Palu in Indonesia last week. So many were just swept out to sea.

The videos are absolutely heart-wrenching. Those people were gone before they even knew what hit them.

It's that time of year again. When a lot of us are feeling - well, religious.

You've got Lent. And Good Friday services. And Easter services. And if you're Jewish, the millennia-old observance of Passover.

And that's all good. In fact, social researchers tell us that religious folks are generally happier and more satisfied, less likely to get divorced, more likely to volunteer - lots of positive effects.

Again and again, cable news networks announce "Breaking News." All too often it's heart-breaking news.

A school shooting. A quake or a crash. A storm, a fire, a flood.

It's hard to be a news anchor or politician at those times. Trying to find the right thing to say. Often, they will simply say, "Our thoughts and prayers are with you." Or the social media version of consolation, "Sending good vibes."

We knew it was coming. With each passing birthday, we knew a spiritual giant of our lifetime would be in heaven soon.

It's still hard. And even more real for me, having just come from Billy Graham's funeral service. For so many of us, he embodied the best of Biblical faith. Even though his last crusade was in 2005, there's still this sense that we have lost something irreplaceable.

Leaving many asking the graveside question his pastor posed: "Billy's gone - what happens now? Who will take Billy's place?"

I was privileged to touch just the edges of Billy Graham's life. He touched mine all the way to its core.

There are many who knew him intimately. What he taught me often came just by watching his life. And sometimes through connections at Billy Graham events where I had the opportunity to speak over the years.

But the Jesus-power and Jesus-presence reflected in Billy Graham's life radiated far and wide. I probably learned more about a Christ-honoring life from him than any other single person I've known. Sometimes you have to see it to be it. In Billy Graham, I got to see it.

So all eyes are on Korea. And for once, it's not about missiles and nukes.

It's all about some of the world's greatest athletes, converging on Korea for the Winter Olympics. If you happen to be an Olympic junkie, there's great news - you can watch 176 hours of the games on TV! And Olympic stars like Lindsey Vonn. Shaun White. Nathan Chen.

For me, the Winter Olympics bring back memories of a teenage gal my wife and I worked with in our youth ministry years ago. She was especially memorable because of her relentless dedication to figure skating.

My shoulder "exploded." My rotator cuff decided to pay me back for the hundreds of times I've run through airports around the world with luggage on my shoulders.

The surgeon said it was "totally ripped." At first, I thought he said I was totally ripped, and I was thrilled. But then I remember what I see in the mirror each morning. Back to brutal reality.

The conversation – like a lot of conversations this past week – had turned to the unprecedented weather news. I was at physical therapy as part of my recovery from shoulder surgery.

Someone brought up Hurricane Irma – one of the strongest hurricanes in recorded history. With another Category 4 storm following her across the Atlantic. Just days after Hurricane Harvey, another historic storm, which dumped the largest rainfall from a single event ever in this country. Not to mention the biggest earthquake in Mexico’s history – that story had just hit the news.

Just seeing the pictures from Hurricane Harvey is totally overwhelming. I can't imagine living it.

"If you're not going to evacuate, write your Social Security number on your arm." If that doesn't say deadly, what does?

"When the water's filling your house, don't go to the attic unless you've got an ax. Go straight to the roof and wait for help to come."

Seasoned reporters were groping for words. And almost giddy about what they were seeing.

The former commander of the International Space Station - moved beyond his scientific detachment - testified to a sense of "ancient wonder."

The eyes of a nation were turned skyward this week. In their special eclipse glasses. As God did - as He has done for millennia - His disappearing act with the sun again. A total solar eclipse eclipsed even the usual newsnami from Washington.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)

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