March 10th. This is a date I heard my dad refer to over and over again through the years. You see, back in 1933, my father and his family were living in Long Beach, California. If you'd like to see some photos of what happened that day I encourage you to go here. There was an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 that centered just south of Huntington Beach. The photos are amazing; I hope you can take a peek.
Dad was 19 years old and at home with his mother that afternoon. My grandmother was a bit emotional at times (she would faint if they received a long-distance phone call, because it had to be bad news...) so I can only imagine how hysterical she became when the earth started shaking! They did their best to hold the furniture in place (as in Mary Poppins) but finally they went outside where they felt the safest. Dad said he and his mother began praying and asked God to keep them safe. They both realized they had no assurance of salvation and became Christians that day, giving their hearts to the Lord and asking Him to forgive their sins. Yes, they'd attended church off and on, but on March the 10th, it became personal. When your city crumbles, you hear people screaming and see disaster all around, life looks a bit differently than on a normal perfect day in Sunny, CA.
I have a clock that was saved from their mantle. The time stopped at 5:55. It's in a bookcase with several family Bibles and a few other treasures. It's actually one of my most treasured keepsakes. My heritage changed when that clock was broken. And in those minutes, Dad and Nana were rescued for eternity.