No, I want cola.

The images from China this week have been heartbreaking. The devastation is unimaginable, and the loss of lives is shocking… and still rising.

But from this horror, there are amazing stories of survival, which should really come as no surprise since the human spirit is such an amazing and powerful thing.

The earthquake hit just over a week ago. You would think everyone buried under the rubble of their city would have passed on by now. But just yesterday, they pulled a man from the jumble that was once his fertilizer factory. The man’s daughter would not give up on him. She organized a search party of her own and screamed and called for him until, finally, he answered. Stunned, thrilled, all movements ceased and she called out, “Father? Is that you?” To which he replied, “Yes. I’m thirsty.”

I’m thirsty.

100 hours after hearing the man’s voice, soldiers managed to remove him from the rubble, leaving his leg behind, but his spirit in tact.

Further away, three 10-year-old girls were found together under the remnants of their school where so many children perished. All three were rescued – whole. How did they survive – these young children, alone, terrified, injured? How was it possible for them to hang on until they could be plucked from that hell?

They talked to each other. They told jokes and cried. Together. Close to the end, before they knew they would be saved, one girl cied, “I want water.” To which another girl joked, “No. I want cola.”

Maybe there’s something we can learn here, something that can keep us going in our difficult times. Knowing that very little if anything we’ve experienced has been as devastating as what those three girls experienced and survived, has got to give us a boost regardless of the trials ahead.

I’ll remember that young girl’s humor. The next time I whine about something I can’t have, or think a situation is hopeless, I’ll think about that child and how she took a situation where asking and getting the smallest thing was impossible and not only stated what she wanted – not water, cola- but laughed at the absurdity of it. And survived.

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