It was only 2 minutes late…

So Thursday night, we were headed to Tokyo with our Japanese pastors, waiting on a train, having a great time, laughing, telling stories, excited about the marriage conference we were on the way to…when an announcement was made over the intercom, which usually we have absolutely no idea what they’re saying of course in their Tokyo train-guy super-nasally, indiscriminate (to us) Japanese. But after the announcement was made, our pastor told us that our train would be a couple minutes late because someone had just committed suicide by jumping in front of a train a few stations down the line. He proceeded to tell us that this happens approximately 100 times a day in Japan. (I knew that the suicide rate was the highest in the world here, but it became 3-D in this moment. Go ahead and look it up–it’s true.) I sat there and wondered–how many times have I heard this annoucement before and not even known it? How many suicides have happened just a few stations down before? What if someone had really told that guy about Jesus? I wonder if he had a wife and kids (probably.) I wonder what it was that broke his back. He’d probably never even heard the story that saved my life. They don’t know the story here, you know…

Everything slowed down for me for a few minutes as I watched them. No one’s facial expressions or body language changed; in fact, most didn’t look up from what they were reading or text-messaging. You see, they have heard this announcement hundreds of times in their lifetimes. Here we are in arguably the most industrialized, civilized nation on the planet, the land of the plentiful, where people have everything they need monetarily, materially. And so many of them are politely perishing in their quiet desperation. There’s an entire culture over here that is realizing that there’s nothing at the end of that rainbow. Oh, but I remember another rainbow–

A Rainbow of Living Color promising me forever with Him, past this world and its endless circles of futility.

Sometimes I feel so clueless in this country. Feeling overwhelmed by the immense, invisible need in this place, I am reminded again: Lisa Cash, even with her smiling eyes and pretty little heart-song, even at her very best, has absolutely NOTHING to offer them….apart from Jesus Christ.

But as Paul tells us, in a verse which has helped me in more than one season of longing to cling to all hope, “He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can dream or hope or imagine, according to the power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20) Jesus Christ, who reigns in power, (yes, even within wretched me!)–He’s got what they need. And if I can just point my little fingers, my little light, my little life to HIM, oh, Lord have mercy, what might come of this life’s offering?

Oh, God, you HAVE to do something here! Family, friends, cry out with me today. Please GOD, come near to these people! Show yourself, strong and mighty and merciful and full of tender love.

About cashclan

Lisa is a grateful, born-again follower of Jesus Christ who has spent her adult life on the Gospel in several global contexts. She is the wife of one wonderful, jungle-gym of a man, who is to her the single most ravishing piece of flesh on planet earth (stolen good-heartedly from Christine Caine). She is a dedicated home educator to their four beautiful children, ages 6 to 12, whom she would be happy to gush over any time. She is an avid reader and a storyteller, an aspiring writer, a missionary to the nations and a singer of His praises, a loyal friend, an obsessive-compulsive Googler, and comedienne extraordinaire on her best days. She would also like to think that she is a loyal and loving, truth-telling friend.
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3 Responses to It was only 2 minutes late…

  1. melissa says:

    oh my gosh- i totally was drawn in- i almost felt panic uprising- did he know about the saving grace of jesus??? probably not- this is why cody and i along with you guys can do so much- getting the word of jesus out- loving on the people- letting them know sucide is not the way, jesus is

  2. Starr says:

    I found this terribly troubling article after reading your post: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Japan/FG28Dh01.html It reads in part, “The recent sharp increase in the number of child deaths is one of the most troubling developments. It seems that almost every week there are several tragic cases involving schoolchildren either taking their own lives or being murdered by a mother or father before the despairing parent commits suicide.”

  3. Mimi says:

    I shared your email with my 12 step class and they were very moved. Everytime I read something like this, it reinforces just why you and Keith are in Japan. I am proud of both of you. It also helps me to develop a deeper love for the Japanese people. One lady was so moved in our group, she asked for a copy of the email to share with her church. God is working! Never doubt it!

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