Caitlin and I got to see lots of beautiful sites on our trip to Japan. We flew into Tokyo. After Tokyo, we went to Nagoya where our friend, Rachel lives. We stayed with her for a few days and then the three of us went to Hiroshima.
Caitlin, Rachel, and I took a bullet train from Nagoya to Hiroshima. A bullet train is a like a normal train except it flys at up to 200mph. It’s crazy fast. It took two and half hours to arrive in Hiroshima, but I was okay with that because I was able to read. Fun fact, I read five books while I was in Japan.
When we reached Hiroshima we hailed a taxi, well Rachel did because she can speak Japanese. All I see is a cool new tattoo. Rachel told the taxi driver we were going to the peace memorial, and we were off.
As we were in the taxi it started to rain. A few minutes into our ride the taxi the driver started to cough and I mean he was coughing really hard. At one point he coughed so hard that he swerved into the other lane.
After I realized we weren’t going to die I became very concerned for his wellbeing. He continued to drive and every 30 seconds he coughed uncontrollably. We finally arrived safely at the peace memorial. If I could speak Japanese I would’ve told him to go straight to the doctor, but I don’t know Japanese so I quickly ran to the peace memorial because it was raining.
We paid and then they pointed us in the direction of the entrance. As we entered the next room, I saw people, people, and more people. At parts, I couldn’t even move because everyone was packed in so tight.
Another fun fact, you can’t skim read in Japanese because they don’t have any spaces in their language. So, they have to get up close, read the whole piece, and then move on to the next one. In the busiest part of the memorial, I would have to stand on my tipping toes to quickly read it and then try to sneak by all the people still reading.
As I moved throughout the Peace Memorial and read and learned about the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, I’ll never forget the items they had on display. After the bomb went off they found kids toy bikes, journals, and other school supplies. As I look at these charred children’s toys I felt tears welling up inside me. It was one of the saddest things I’d ever seen.
As we neared the end I looked out the window and realized it had stopped raining. I was glad because there were different monuments throughout the city around the peace memorial to remember those who died.
We walked to see the different statues and we finally reached the spot where they hadn’t touched it since the atomic bomb was dropped. It was a small area, but you could see the great destruction that was done.
Everywhere else in Hiroshima was new, but here was only pain. Like in the peace memorial with the children’s toys, I stood there looking at this site longer than I had at the other stops along the way.
This is what it would’ve looked like across the whole city, but it doesn’t look like this anymore. Out of what seemed hopeless something new was budding forth.
Today Hiroshima isn’t destroyed, it has been made new. It was one of the coolest cities I’ve ever been to.
Life can seem hopeless, but the slightest of lights in the tiniest of space can create something amazing out of something horrifying. It’s from our pain that new life can be created. Hope is buried, all we need to do is dig.
Life doesn’t make sense sometimes, much like dropping an atomic bomb, but hope busts through the door of confusion, tears, and pain. Hope comes in the person of Jesus.
When the pain first hits I’m unable to move because it seems like everything has stopped. Jesus doesn’t immediately say, “Get up. Keep going.” No, Jesus sits with me in my pain, He just listens.
When I’m ready Jesus helps me up and together we start to building something new. We take the old pieces and start to put together grace, hope, and love. Soon, we have made something new.
As much as I want my pain to be no more it’s always there, but now instead of it paralyzing me, my pain makes a turn in my story. I can look back and remember the pain. It’s in remembering that I can see how far I’ve come.
Hope is the only thing I need to start to do something with my pain. It’s in allowing my pain to be a part of my story that I feel Jesus sitting with me. It’s in feeling Jesus’ presence that I’ve started to climb out this hole of pain. As I feel the presence of Jesus and sense hope in what seemed hopeless I begin to create something new.