Though I live in Fairfax, Virginia, a stone’s throw from the nation’s capital, I seldom ever go into the city unless I need to. It’s not so much that the metro itself is difficult to get to and navigate, as the stations themselves seem so difficult to reach–the park’n’ride is intimidating.

But yesterday, I made an exception and trekked into D.C. to see a movie that was showing for one day at one time at the Georgetown theater. The movie was a fundraiser-documentary about Japan’s 2011 earthquake disaster and the recovery effort, named “Pray for Japan” (Check out the trailers at http://prayforjapan-film.org/page/trailers). There were some parts that were heart-wrenching to see. But others brought hope and showed how graciously many of the Japanese are dealing with it. It was good. But when I see something like that, it awakens something deep within my heart. In some ways, it seems as though it has always been there, but when I look at the suffering of the Japanese, especially in regard to this earthquake, my heart doesn’t just shatter. My heart ignites. Because love is flammable. Love has to show itself, give itself, spend itself on someone or something. I feel like I just want to run up to a Japanese and pour out a heartful of love on them, whatever that may mean.

And yet this love has been welling up with nowhere to go, because we’re separated by over 7000 miles of dirt and rock and magma. it’s just been building up and building up. With a few exceptions, I feel like the way I usually end up showing love to the Japanese in very indirect ways, like learning the language. It feels like such a distant thing compared to doing something for a Japanese, but I suppose it’s all just training for the future. But that is going to change very soon. After tonight, it will be 16 days until everything changes. Sixteen days until the fire in my heart gets a lot brighter.


About Stephen Gabriel Falke

Stephen Gabriel Falke is passionate about loving Jesus and loving Japanese! He grew up in Virginia, America, and first visited Japan in 2007. He then studied abroad at Sophia University in Tokyo for a year in 2012. He also participated in the JET Program as an ALT from 2015-2017. He currently works as an English teacher at Hirosaki Gakuin Seiai Secondary School in Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan.
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