Is There Anyone Alive In There?

Dr. Ella Stack is the author of the above-named book. It is a pithy work – fascinating really – just forty-eight pages. It received the sub-title: Our Cyclone Tracy, Darwin, Christmas 1974.

The book has a Dedication and runs like this:

This book is dedicated to the resilience of the people of Darwin – to all those who survived the unbearable horror of Cyclone Tracy at Christmas 1974 and to those who did not.

Ella then quotes from Patrick White’s, The Eye of the Storm:

If only you could describe your storm, but you could not. You can never convey in words the utmost in experience. Whatever is given you to live, you alone can live, and re-live, till it is gasped out of you.

Who among us has not entered, undergone, lived and relived a “storm”? It is part and parcel of human experience. And when it is finally “gasped out of us” by the flow of time, by nature, by an event or by God himself, we are changed and transformed.

What is equally remarkable is “peace” in the midst of the “storm.” In the “storm” of his passion, Jesus pronounces:

Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you (John 14).

These words come from the Last Supper and Jesus repeats them again to us in his glorious resurrection. “Peace be with you,” he says to us as he rises to new life.

In human thinking, “peace is the fruit of justice.” Justice is that cardinal virtue that directs right relationships. What do I owe my wife, my husband, my children, my parents, my employee, my employer, my community, my country? The fruit of trying to be just is peace.

But there comes a time when we need the gift of peace. And the gift we are offered is the peace that resides in the heart of Christ.

May we so position our lives that we can receive such a gift – in the midst of our personal and collective “storms.”