The Snowstorm and the Suffering Servant

snowstormmainIn a raging storm in a rural town on the coast of Japan, a man and his daughter huddled against a warehouse. They held one another, they felt the fury of the wind and the snow, and they fought for life.

In early March of this year, a major snowstorm hit northern Japan. In the rural town of Yubetsu (in Hokkaido), it stranded a father, Mikio Okada, and his daughter, Natsune, in a snow bank.

Mikio had driven until his truck could go no further. The snow now piled up all around him. Recognizing that the vehicle would be overtaken by snow, he did what he thought best: he and Natsune got out of the truck, seeking shelter in nearby buildings.

Mikio and Natsune made it to a warehouse nearly 1,000 feet from their truck. They walked with extreme difficulty; no doubt they were aware that they had crossed into the zone where life, always fragile, becomes a 50-50 proposition. A wall of snow raised itself around them, enveloping them. The world went white.

That Kind of Moment

In these circumstances, we can imagine without embellishment that a nine-year-old girl would be scared, and would cry. And we can imagine without embellishment that her father, scared himself, would comfort her. That is what Mikio did. He went to the far reach of comfort, actually. He protected his little girl, wrapping her in his arms.

Sometimes in life, there is a moment that crystallizes the deepest realities of this world, that brings, as the novelist Wendell Berry has said, a revelation. Sometimes ordinary people have an unwitting chance, a flash in time, to play a role in such a revelation.

This was true of Mikio Okada.

[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]