Sunday, October 15, 2006




I had just hung up the phone with my wife, Tara, when the Earthquake hit. I had been trying to type in a post about the plight of AIDS and how we should be much more passionate and compassionate about our response to it. I will take that back up again later.

Being from Arkansas and never feeling anything like that, I really don't know what to say about it. Each second the ground shook seemed to last much longer than a second. I didn't notice that things were falling to the floor off of shelves and desks, because all i could think was, are my kids ok, "Get on the floor," is a volcano about to erupt, "Get down, get on the floor," be calm for the kids, when will it stop shaking, it is still shaking, this is for real, why did I hang up the phone with Tara, what do you do when there's no where to go?

Of course, all the circuits were busy so I couldn't get back on the phone with Tara. My kids were pretty good, although Tanner was talking a lot. Which, if you know Tanner, means that he was talking nonstop. Then, you begin to notice that things have moved, like a huge refrigerator, which moved a foot away from the wall. You walk into the bathroom and see all the soap and shampoo bottles in the middle of the tub knocked over. You see that next door your neighbors chest of drawers, which were stacked two high, had fallen over. You hear one of your student neighbors fell out of bed.

Then, as you are collecting yourself, an aftershock hits. Although lasting only a second, it's a reminder that it is all for real. You really were shaken to your core for several seconds just 7 minutes before, but those seven minutes seemed to have lasted 7 hours while your stomach is feeling queasy and it isn't because you need to eat. Probably after an hour of real time you then notice there are hairline cracks in the dry wall throughout the room.

No, we haven't seen any buildings down and we haven't been anywhere to see any road cracks or landslides (there were some!!). But, it still seems crazy that the entire "Earth move[d] under our feet." We are all okay, although now, even 9 hours later, I still have some anxiety. Just ten minutes ago an aftershock hit hard enough to be felt and your heart skips a beat. The below is nothing exciting... no collapsed ceiling, and it can't capture the feeling of the quake, but it is a small reminder of what happened at 7:07 a.m. this morning in Kona!




9 comments:

Bryan Riley said...

I forgot to add the fact that Tanner, my seven-year old, has just started the Left Behind series for Kids and he seriously thought that it was the end. Ugh! Poor guy... he didn't need to be thinking such things. He actually napped today, a sight I haven't seen in a few years. I think it hit him hard.

John Stickley said...

I'm glad to hear you're all okay!

Bader said...

Wow!! No earthquakes here but it is raining! I am enjoying your blog as I have just gotten caught up. Tara looks quite excited to be involved in holding the sea creatures!
Well it's past my bedtime, but wanted to let you know are continuing to pray for you and the family. I don't know if Katie has sent you the link to her blog, but it is a good way to see pics of the kids; I think it is baderrobkate.blogspot.com
RB

Kevin Stilley said...

Glad to know y'all are okay. I had read somewhere that it was a 6.5 so I thought I'd check in here.

Kevin Bussey said...

Glad your ok. I didn't even hear about it until I just read it on your site. Where have I been?

Lu said...

Glad to hear you and your family are okay, bro. I lived many, many years in Southern California --lived through the Big Bear/Landers twin quakes and the Northridge quake -- so I know the feelings you had. Its just so... wrong... for the earth to be moving like that! You really don't notice anything else during the shaking except that your whole world is shaking (!!) like a snow globe in the hands of the crazy little girl in Finding Nemo.

Hang in there. The worst is (presumably) over. Now its just calming frayed nerves after each aftershock.

Bryan Riley said...

Thank you, all! Your words are encouraging and it's nice to know that so many are thinking of and praying for us.

As I think back on it, God helped me realize a few things. First, you are all the more aware of His sovereignty and power at such a moment. Second, you also appreciate and realize the amazing nature of His grace, because so much more could have happened that didn't. You also realize that there is nothing you can depend on. Even the ground under your feet cannot be depended on. Only God truly can be trusted to be firm, secure, and unchanging!

With those thoughts, we can lay aside the nervousness and anxiety caused by the momentary shaking.

martyduren said...

"Left Behind Kids causes Earthquake in Hawaii"

Glad to hear that you guys are alright. I can't imagine that scenario.

John said...

Hey Riley Family! Thanks for the update and glad everyone is alright. I'm sure its a bit unnerving to be on a volcanic island when an earthquake hits. ;) Hang in there.
JDP