a year ago...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I feel like I have to write a post today, but it's hard to know what to say. A year ago a massive 7.0 earthquake hit the tiny island of Hispaniola, rocking Haiti and destroying the nation's capital, Port-au-Prince. Hopefully we all know that by now. Hopefully some of us remember. Hopefully a few of us care.

I've read more articles than I can count and they say the same thing. It's not much better. The people are still homeless and hurting. Jobless and distressed. Atlanta's Eleven Alive news gave Haiti about 15 seconds this morning. They sent their pity and the anchors' solum faces.

When thinking back on the last year I can only really reflect on my own heart.

Today, a year ago I was glued to CNN. I had always liked Anderson Cooper, but for the first time in my life I respected him. I watched him carry a teen bleeding from his head through the streets while a pastor that I listen to fairly often watched a Haitian bleed to death in the street from behind a guarded wall. Who would have guessed the celebrity would play the good samaritan?

I'm not sure I've ever been so angry. So passionate about something that I knew so little about. Before January of 2010 I could have told you very little about Haiti. I knew it was in the Caribbean. I knew the people were black. I knew it was poor. That's it.

A year later I know her heart. I know her people, bits of her history. I know her streets, her stresses and her struggles. I know pieces of her trials. Her health care crisis, her flawed justice system. Her desperation. Everyday I'm learning more as I read and read. But mostly I know what I have learned about myself because of her.

I am blessed. I am connected. I am healthy. I am wealthy and secure. I am educated. I have opportunities. I have hope. I have it easy.

I think everyone "culture shocks" in their own way. I don't really know my way, but I don't feel guilty. I don't feel like I should get rid of all my stuff and stop wearing make-up. I don't even feel like I shouldn't have spent the last four days at a ball game with fans screaming at a bunch of college students.

Our countries differ so vastly that it's difficult to even understand. How can two places so close to each other be so different?

But in reality the people are very much the same. We are self-centered and self-serving. We are passionate and praise-seeking.

We were created by Him and for Him. We are His image. We are needy. We long for support and relationship. We are hungry. We hurt. We love and we long. We long for something better...better than the sunsets in the Caribbean or the nightlife in the States. We want something that is going to last. Something that is going to make the day worth living. Whether we are stuck in a job we hate, selling fruit on a crowded dusty street, the coach of the BCS Champions, or a stay at home mom...we all want significance. Eternal significance.

I didn't walk with God closely or easily while in Haiti but I did think of this from Hebrews 11 often...

By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs of the same promises. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God...they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

The promise will be fulfilled. The city is prepared. The tents will be no more.