I’ve been out of pocket for the past three days. Since 1993, I have been involved in some capacity with World Changers, a student missions ministry of the North American Mission Board. We had a weekend meeting for the project in Bonne Terre, Missouri, where I am serving this summer, and I was awakened from my sleep in the motel just a little past 4:30 a.m. by an earthquake. It began with the sensation of being shaken awake by someone, and it took a few moments, coming out of a deep and peaceful sleep, to realize where I was. That’s when I realized something different was happening.
Right at that moment, the toilet seat in the bathroom went crashing down onto the bowl, and that’s when I sat up in bed. The pictures on the wall were rattling, and that’s when I felt the bed shaking. It was somewhat surreal to realize at that moment that it was an earthquake. It wasn’t the kind of thing that would throw you out of bed, or anything like that, but it was a pretty fair tremor, and it lasted for 20 or 30 seconds after I woke up. Of course, my deep sleep was ruined, but I turned over and tried to sleep for a while longer.
My wife called at 5:30 and asked if I’d felt the earthquake. It was all over the news, she said. That was a bit of a surprise, since it hadn’t occurred much more than an hour earlier. As it turned out, it was the big news of the day, though there did not appear to be a lot of significant damage. People are fascinated by the unusual, I guess.
We used to live in Southern Missouri, and over the space of a couple of years, we had two or three small tremors that could be felt or noticed, but this quake was a little more than that, and so I guess it is somewhat of a first. It was interesting to note, in the morning, that it had awakened most of the guests in the hotel. By the afternoon, it was old news.
I’ll forgo the opportunity to experience a larger earthquake.