The end of days?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 5, 2005

According to some people there are many signs that indicate we are living in the last days. Many believe these signs range from crime and terrorism being on the rise to efforts to take Christ out of Christmas. Many of them say that God is trying to tell us something with earthquakes and major storms.

Another time of devastation took place last fall when hurricanes struck back to back in the state of Florida.

The Bible speaks that some of these signs are wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes, and we shall begin to not know one season from the other. The latter one is certainly more apparent in this area with the warm temperatures that we are being blessed with this week ranging in the middle 70s when actually the normal temperature during this time of the year should not be ranging out of the 40s. However, only last week a snowstorm came our way and dumped about a foot of the white stuff and the temperature reached as low as 12 degrees.

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Until the day after Christmas, many of us were only vaguely aware of a phenomenon called a tsunami.

Tsunami is a Japanese term used in English to describe a giant wave produced by an underwater earthquake or underwater volcanic eruption. Capable of considerable destruction, they can cause seismic sea waves that

reach as high as 51 feet and travel hundreds of miles, devastating everything in its pathway as it did on the shores of Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and other countries.

I can remember a time when tornadoes didn’t even come our way. The only major storm that I can remember until the 1990s was Hurricane Hazel, which struck in the Hampton Roads area in the 1960s. Now when spring arrives there are tornadoes touching down somewhere near.

Perhaps God is trying to tell us that He is still on the throne and is still performing miracles. We learn about these miracles in the story about the child who read about tsunamis before it took place and was able to save many through her knowledge; about the mother and her child who were saved from the destruction when the mother threw her infant child into a tree and climbed the tree herself to watch the turbulent waters pass beneath her; and there are likely many others yet to be told.

We Christians also learn that God is a loving God and wants us to display love in ourselves and to one another. We are doing just that by coming to the aid of those who are victims of these tragedies. I do not welcome the news that I hear or read about suicide bombings, deaths in Iraq, thefts from the handicap and other negative events, but I am happy to hear and read reports on how the world is pouring out its love and coming together to help people who were victims of the tsunami get their lives back on track.

This action also proves that when God closes a door He will always open a window.

One of the clubs that I belong to,

Suffolk Les Gemmes Inc., takes a trip to Atlantic City a couple of days after Christmas annually. In the past this has been a one-day trip, but this year the trip was scheduled from Dec. 27-29,. This is one of our biggest fundraisers, enabling us to give two $500 scholarships to local high school seniors, the Suffolk Shelter for the Homeless, and a $100 donation to the Suffolk News-Herald Cheer Fund. Our next fundraiser, a dinner theatre, will be held on May 15 at Temple Beth El on Bridge Road.

The big snow fell on Sunday and we were scheduled to depart for Atlantic City at 5 a.m. on that Monday morning from Food Lion Supermarket on Portsmouth Boulevard. I am glad to report that it was a 55-passenger bus and only one person did not make the trip. We traveled under the careful driving of Brian Harris of Eddie’s Bus Service, who makes all of his trips interesting and full of fun.

The snowstorm came upon us suddenly. It is hard to cancel room reservations at the last minute and money can’t be returned. To make sure everybody reached our departure area we car pooled and kept in touch with each other with cell phones until everybody expected to make the trip arrived. After we got out of the Tidewater area, we saw little snow on the ground. That was the case in this area when we returned. The trip, which produced great friendships and good fellowship, was a success and we returned safety and soundly.

Harris will tell you quickly and confidently that he is used to driving in ice storms and once took our club to Indianapolis, Ind. in the beginning of a snowstorm here to induct the chapter in Indiana only to run into another one as we arrived. As the storm began to get worse in that area, he followed behind a snowplow and took us in safely.

We want to thank everyone who supported our efforts in making the trip to Atlantic City.

A few people have asked me if I felt offended by the letter to the editor from the reader in Portsmouth who said that she felt that all Christmas decorations were beautiful and ridiculed me for what I had to say about them. No, I do not feel offended and welcome all comments whether they agree or disagree with me. Everyone has his or her own opinion; she has hers and I am sticking to mine. At least that reader proved that someone else besides me is reading my column.

Evelyn Wall is a retired News-Herald reporter and regular columnist.