It is Thursday evening, just over two days since the Tuesday early afternoon quake.
There are so many people suffering in our region. As I write loss of life has been suffered by 98 people, leaving behind suffering family and friends. As let we know the names of only a small number of those who have died. We mourn with their family and friends. But we know too that we will know many of the others who have died once we hear their names. This is a time of great suffering with grave fears held for 228 others who are missing.
We know too that this will be among the greatest of New Zealand tragedies.
I was speaking tonight with a friend whose house has been badly damaged. He and his family were suffering, but there was no sign of this in conversation with him. He was concerned for others. He said his suffering was nothing compared to that of so many others. This generosity of spirit is characteristic of so many good people in our city.
The sense of helplessness that so many of us feel as we wait is heightened as we head for bed. The Prayer of the Church gives us a daily night prayer as we commend all our anxiety, our helplessness and waiting, to God:
“Save us Lord
while we are awake
protect us while we sleep.
That we may keep watch with Christ
and rest with Him in peace
May the Lord grant us
a quiet night
and a perfect end