Saturday, January 16, 2010

Haitian Heartache

I feel like the world's most heartless, selfish person. If there was a way to be lower than a smooshed-up slug hidden under a rock in the deepest, darkest part of a forest, that is where I feel you would find me.

Our brothers and sisters in Haiti are suffering through the most excruciating form of devastation and destruction imaginable, and I literally cannot bring myself to find out the details of what has happened, or watch the latest news, or look at the graphic photos of the condition this beloved country and it's people have been left in.

And to top it all off, I feel as I should be connected to this tragedy much more so than if it would have happened anywhere else in the world. Our church has had a close relationship with Haiti for the past three years. Members of my family and friends have traveled there, we've heard countless stories of the work that is being done to help this land, I've seen image upon image of these beautiful people. I should be out pounding the pavement, going door to door asking for donations.

But I am frozen. These people's pain is so much bigger than me. I feel helpless and overwhelmed. And therefore I have shut down whatever part of my heart it is that should be open to doing anything I can to help.

It's not that I haven't been in prayer for Haiti, because I have. A lot. Countless times throughout the day when the Holy Spirit puts this country on my heart I stop to lift them up to Him. But I never make it very far, because it just hurts so much to think of what's happening over there, and the tears start flowing. God literally could not have chosen a more desperate, a more poor, a more impoverished nation to have this happen to. These people had nothing to begin with, and now they have even less than nothing. How is that possible?

And even more than that, I am afraid of what this is going to do to their spirit. Everyone I have spoken with who has spent time with any of these people comes back humbled by their love for the Lord amidst their poverty and destitution. They attest to the dancing that goes on in the midst of despair. They talk of the "hallelujahs" that accompany the hunger. The Haitians are a picture of a people who's souls are satisfied by the Spirit even as their stomachs rumble in their emptiness.

I have been so inspired by their dedication to Jesus, their genuine love for the Lord, their willingness to look past their circumstances to see that this world is not their home.

And now whatever little they had to hold onto has been taken from them. Their hunger will be worse, their desperation will be taken to a whole new level, their mourning and weeping will become a constant refrain, their feet will stop dancing in order to dig graves.

And it's just too much. Why, Lord, why?????

Again, this is one of those questions that we will never know the answer to while we remain here on this earth. And so while I sit here, hurting, shedding tears for these fellow brothers and sisters of mine who are suffering so, I will continue to pray. I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to willingly look at the pictures or hear the stories of these people, but I will do the best I can to see to it that they are continually placed at the feet of the King.

On a side note, I urge all of you, if the Lord so moves you, to find a way to make a monetary donation to this disaster relief effort. I know that Compassion International has set up a link on their site ( to directly help Haiti. (And then while you're there you will also be given the opportunity to sign up to sponsor a child if you so desire... I promise you will never regret welcoming one of these children into your lives).

Dear Lord in heaven,
I pray this day for mercy. For healing. For strength. For eyes and hearts that still search for You. I pray this day for Haiti.

I know You must be there right now, Lord. You can always be found among "the least of these", and these people have been left with nothing. They have no homes, they have no food, many of them have no more family. Their physical world has been destroyed, Lord, but I ask today that You protect their mental, emotional, and spiritual one. Protect them from hopelessness, protect them from fear. Protect them from desperation, protect them from the suffocating sorrow that surely must follow a devastation of this size.

Remind them, Lord, that they still belong to You. Be near to every single one of them and remind them that You alone are in control. You are bigger than collapsed buildings, and piles of rubble, and loss of life. You can renew this land, You can rebuild it, You can give hope to it's people and give them a vision for their future.

Let them feel You, Lord. I pray with all that is in me that You let them see You. Be real to them today. Take them out of the shadows and into Your light. They need You, Lord. We know they have spirits of steel, but even steel can be tested, and damaged, and destroyed.

Give them reason to believe, Lord, that You are still worth dancing for. And then give them the strength to do so.

Heal this land. Rebuild it better and brighter than ever. Use this tragedy to open our eyes to the least of these, Your sons and daughters, and give us the desire to come alongside them so that we can be a part of their healing too.

Use them also to teach us how to turn to You when we have lost everything. There is a part of me that wonders if You allowed this to happen to this country because of their great love for You, and You knew that taking away what little they had would only give them the opportunity to glorify and praise You more, and then give us the chance to become witness to it.

We love this land, Lord. This is a special, beautiful people. People who remain in Your care even when the world around them crumbles. I plead with You today to save them, to carry them, and to raise them up triumphant.

We are watching, Lord, and we pray in confidence and expectation.

In Your Holy Name,

1 comment:

  1. Dear Susan, I can relate to you in feeling so helpless and full of heartache for our brothers and sisters around the world that I am moved to tears. This is what my pastor calls your "holy disposition". However, it is important that you realize that you ARE making a difference by writing this blog. If this continues to tug at your heartstrings, ask God to show you the way. Ask Him to give you the guidance and the "tools" to make a difference in whatever way one single person can. I am right there with you...