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What If The Missile Had Been Coming To You?

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What happened to Hawaii today was horrible. Those folks had 38 minutes of believing that a nuclear missile was headed toward them before the state said it was a false alarm. I can scarcely imagine the terror.

Let’s try to, though. Let me ask you all, though, as a thought experiment: what if you had received that official warning at 8:07 am your time, this morning (Saturday). What would you have done?

We were just waking up around my house, so all of us were here. I suppose Julie and I would have run into the bathroom, shut the door, and decided quickly how to tell the children. We would have awakened those still asleep, brought them to the living room, told them the news, and then … what?

I would have phoned my mother to tell her I loved her, “in case something happens.” There would not have been time to get to her. After that, it’s hard to imagine that we would have done anything else but sat together in the living room praying, and trying to stay calm. I would have done my best to lead us all in prayer, asking God to protect us from the danger, asking forgiveness for our sins, thanking Him for his mercies, asking each other forgiveness, and preparing our souls as best we could to meet him.

If I’m honest, I wouldn’t have run water in the bathtub, or done any disaster preparation. Nothing in that moment would have been more important than preparing to die. Right or wrong, that’s how I think things would have gone at our house this morning.

How about at your place? What would you have done? And if you live in Hawaii, what did you do?

UPDATE: Folks, I really don’t want to know what you think about Donald Trump with regard to this incident. Please stay focused on the personal question I pose in this post. I’m not going to post broader political speculation.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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