Rockin’ and Rollin’ in Panama

What a rude awakening!

3:30AM yesterday morning it felt like the Jolly Green Giant had grabbed the corners of the house and was violently shaking it back an forth! 4.7, but it felt a lot bigger. No immediate damage evident at our house. Of course I thought the same thing in California when I got up early in the morning of the Northridge quake.

With quakes it always takes a while to find out what is really going on. The morning of Northridge I went back to bed. It wasn’t until my Dad in Pennsylvania finally got through to me by phone at noon and told me what he was seeing on TV that I realized the extent of the damage.

Here in our tiny town of Palmira, up the mountain from Boquete, we get Internet from a signal on the top of Volcan Baru. Naturally when there is a quake the mountain shakes and connection with the Internet needs to be reset, so it takes a while to be able to get online and find out the strength of the quake.

This one was an initial violent shaking of the house, lots of rattling and then what seemed like a lot of rolling. The rolling type quake isn’t as frequent here as it was in California. We live about 200 miles inland from the point out in the Pacific where three tectonic plates come together, so quakes in this part of Panama aren’t all that uncommon. Which is why Panama has adopted what seem at times like “over the top” building requirements for new structures. There is so much cement and steel under the ground in my house -much better built to withstand quakes than anything in California – that we aren’t going anywhere, although we may have some cracks.

But at least we don’t have California-type wildfires to deal with every two or three years.

God Is Not Finished

The comforting thing, to me at least, about earthquakes is that they are an indication that God is still creating and recreating the world, shifting things around a bit, and that he is not yet finished. That’s a comforting thought about the world we live in . . . and about me. Like the T-shirt theology, “Please be patient! God is not finished with me yet.”, the shifting around of the earths tectonic plates reminds me that there is hope . . . for the world, for the people of the world, and for me.

But, like most construction and renovation projects, there can be a lot of rubble left behind..

World’s tectonic plates . . .