In 1989 an 8.2 earthquake almost flattened America, killing over 30,000 people in less than four minutes. In the midst of utter devastation and chaos, a father left his wife safely at home and rushed to the school where his son was supposed to be, only to discover that the building was as flat as a pancake.
After the unforgettably initial shock, he remembered the promise he had made to his son: No matter what, I’ll always be there for you! And tears began to fill his eyes. As he looked at the pile of ruins that once was the school, it looked hopeless, but he kept remembering his commitment to his son.
He began to direct his attention towards where he walked his son to class at school each morning. Remembering his son s classroom would be in the back right corner of the building； he rushed there and started digging through the ruins.
As he was digging, other helpless parents arrived, clutching their hearts, saying: My son! My daughter! Other well meaning parents tried to pull him off what was left of the school, saying: It s too late! They’re all dead! You can’t help! Go home! Come on, face reality, there s nothing you can do!
To each parent he responded with one line: Are you going to help me now? And then he continued to dig for his son, stone by stone. The fire chief showed up and tried to pull him off the school s ruins saying, Fires are breaking out, explosions are happening everywhere. You’re in danger. We’ll take care of it. Go home. To which this loving, caring American father asked, Are you going to help me now?
The police came and said, You’re angry, anxious and it s over. You’re endangering others. Go home. We’ll handle it! To which he replied, Are you going to help me now? No one helped.
Courageously he went on alone because he needed to know for himself: Is my boy alive or is he dead? He dug for eight hours...12 hours...24 hours...36 hours...then, in the 38th hour, he pulled back a large stone and heard his son s voice. He screamed his son s name, ARMAND! He heard back, Dad!?! It s me, Dad! I told the other kids not to worry. I told them that if you were alive, you d save me and when you saved me, they d be saved. You promised, No matter what happens, I’ll always be there for you! You did it, Dad! What s going on in there? How is it? the father asked.
警察赶到现场，对他说：你现在又气又急，该结束了，你在危及他人，回家吧!我们会处理一切的。这位父亲依旧回答：你们愿意帮我吗? 然而，人们无动于衷。为了弄清楚儿子是死是活，这位父亲独自一人鼓起勇气，继续进行他的工作。他挖掘了8小时，--12小时，24小时，36小时--38小时后，父亲推开了一块巨大的石头，听到了儿子的声音。父亲尖叫着：阿曼德!儿子的回音听到了：爸爸吗?是我，爸，我告诉其他的小朋友不要着急。我告诉他们如果你活着，你会来救我的。如果我获救了，他们也就获救了。你答应过我， 不论发生什么，我永远都会在你的身边， 你做到了，爸!你那里的情况怎样?父亲问。
There are 14 of us left out of 33, Dad. We’re scared, hungry, thirsty and thankful you re here. When the building collapsed, it made a triangle, and it saved us.
Come out, boy!
No, Dad! Let the other kids out first, cause I know you ll get me! No matter what happens, I know you’ll always be there for me!
What is Love? The eternal question we all carry around deep within our heart. Love is the eternal search. Love is eternal when we find it. But do we really ever find it ? When we define it do we negate it? When we set limits on what we believe to be love do we begin to destroy it by hoping to understand or own it for ourselves? We offer it through all of our relationship we vary our giving, often by what we hope to receive in return. But is this really love?
I recently overheard someone say in a conversation that there is no such thing as “ unconditional love .” I would have to agree, although for different reasons. Love within itself is unconditional. Anything else is only an attempt to love, a learning to get us nearer to the one true knowing of love. It may be honorable, well-intentioned, passionate and desiring, courageous and pure. It may be felt as temporary, but if lost easily it may not have been love at all. Love cannot be thwarted and often fall short of what we hope love will be. This is where we learn we are human.
Love has been experienced as a life of living poetry. Love has been experienced as being the very notes of song, uplifting and generous to the wanting ear. Love has been experienced as the final act of giving one’s life for another in battle. Love has been experienced as an endless passionate over flow of emotion in the arms of waiting lover.
What do you do with the love granted to you each day? How many times do we deny its expression for others because we fear what our own expressions will bring? Are we not denying our creator every time we deny the expression of love?
Lost, empty, alone and searching. As individuals who have experienced separation or divorce, or even the loss of a loved one to death, the separation can be the most traumatic experience we live through. The heart-wrenching pain that seems to never really go away, the enormous waves that hit us daily, the times we hit the wall right after a strong and uplifting experience reminds us that we are learning. We are learning about strength, passion for our own life, about our own sincerity in our beliefs, about our loyalty to who we are, and certainly about our own genuineness. We search for that day when love will come again. We search everywhere, everyday, almost every hour.
It has been said for centuries that “ love is where the eyes meet with passion, for the eyes cannot hide what the heart feels.” So we have learned to look outward for this eternal love that will fulfill us, forgetting that it must first fill our own hearts. Perhaps that is why we fall into such pain and agony and sorrow when a love affair fails. It is at that moment that we realize we did not fail the other person we expressed love to , but we have somehow not fulfilled ourselves once again. We combat failure with a misunderstood unfulfilled promise. We lade it, not knowing if we will ever find it again. The emotion tides life and fall ,crash and settle, then lift again.
No one else, no matter how much we talk or cry, can pull us through the anxious hours of soul repair and growth. It is our own fire within that needs rekindling, guarding against the winds that would blow it out and leave us dark, cold and helpless. It is at this time that we find the lobe that binds us together with every other being that surrounds us on the planet. Eventually we find the sun still rises to meet in the morning and the stars continue to show us the way each night. The rivers still flow downstream into oceans that will never turn them away. The trees still reach upward every day praising the God that made them. We stand up straight and take a lesson from it all.
What if you woke up one morning and realized that you were the only person left on the face of the earth? Who would you love? Why do we wait so long to start the journey that begins in the same place that it ends?Love, in all its endlessness, unboundedness and failed definitions is this experience.
Love doesn’t ask why. It doesn’t come. It doesn’t go. It just is. It is not only in our hands, it is our hands. It isn’t only in our heart, it is what makes our heart beat every beat. It wraps itself around us so securely that all we need to do to survive against all odds is to recognize it as the very breath we just drew, and the last breath we just let go.