Gnomes and g(rumbling)

We’d just seen a gnome smashed into itty bitty pieces on the big screen.

The floor suddenly started shaking. My first thought, “Is this retribution from the Capulets?” Watch out gnomish Montagues.

In my next thought, I attributed the floor swaying to my imagination, which can sometimes be very active. We were, after all, wearing 3D glasses. They distort reality. But, this seemed a little too real. Maybe it’s someone angrily exiting the movie theater because they see the inevitability of the conclusion of the movie.

Finally, my slow mind guessed that this must be an earthquake. I turned to my friend and asked if she felt that. We removed our 3D glasses and looked around for direction at the five other people who chose to watch “Gnomeo and Juliet” yesterday evening.

One man sprinted to the exit door, only to find it locked, then sprinted out to the entrance. His frenzied departure worried us. Should we put our sprinting skills to the test?

“Should we leave?” my friends and I asked one another. We kind of wanted to just finish the movie, only 15 minutes remained to this cartoon feature. We did already know the ending of the movie, seeing as we’d all read the play, as most people have in high school English classes. Although, I’m betting that Juliet does not commit suicide and she and Gnomeo live happily ever after and build a garden together with their flamingo friend.

In case you were wondering, there are no gnomes in real Shakespeare.

The room was now shaking and swaying more now. It reminded me of standing on a surf board in the waves. (I’ve done this, by the way, in the Philippines, sorry, had to brag a bit.)

We were on the fifth floor of a mall, was it safe to remain?

We didn’t have time to ponder our decision long. Like in the “Wizard of Oz,” a little man popped out of a curtained room (where the movie projector is located) and told us there was an earthquake and they were stopping the movie. We were told by movie theater attendants that we could return and show our ticket stub and we could re-watch the movie. We’re not sure we want to sit through animated gnome family feuds again though.

Outside of the theater, it was business as usual. No one seemed to act like anything out of the ordinary had happened. The lousy karaoke singers continued to sing horrid rendition of current and archaic hit songs.

Another earthquake, the third one, hit not too long after my return to the apartment. At the time, I was sitting in my green swivel chair, lovingly dubbed “the green panda.” The clothes in my closet swayed. This quake didn’t last as long. It felt like a mother rocking her baby to sleep.

The earthquake’s epicenter was in a rural area on the Thai-Burma border, 70 miles north of Chiang Mai. As of this morning, there are more than 25 people confirmed dead. I heard about the first death last night. A 55-year old woman was crushed by the roof in her home. My heart hurt when I heard this. I’m grieving for her family. I pray she knew Jesus.

I’d covet your prayers for the Burmese and Thai people along the border. Pray for opportunities for Christians in the area to share hope and truth. Pray the the Lord would use this to make His glory known. Pray that Christians would step up and respond to this disaster. Pray for no more earthquakes.




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