On this day, three years ago, Cantabrians were shaken awake at 4.35am by a 7.1 earthquake. We have had well over 13.000 quakes since then, including the deadly February 22 2011 quake which took the lives of 185 of our Christchurch family and friends.
Here in Christchurch, it is difficult to remember pre-earthquakes days.
For three years, the instability of the ground we have built our houses, businesses and our lives on has been unreliable. The three years have been interminable for many as the uncertainties of delays, insurance, repair and rebuilding continue to deprive good people of sleep and security.
But when I think of earthquakes I also remember the extraordinary generosity that revealed the true heart of our city. Food was freely and generously given. Money was shared. Homes were opened to strangers and the tragedy and trauma we were all living with gave us the opportunity to live more fully as the kind of community we know we all need.
So as we remember those who still suffer today, let’s offer a prayer for them. And let’s pray another prayer too, that we will never lose the heart-felt generosity and love that we saw in the worst of those earthquake moments. Such love, is the only stable foundation for any city.