As many others, I mourn for the small country, Haiti. This week a disastrous earthquake of Biblical proportion has taken over a hundred thousand lives while the land is left utterly destroyed. Unfortunately, the death toll is still rising by the hour (nearing 200,000) as rescuers search for survivors amid the dead and destroyed.
Governments, humanitarian agencies and missionaries from all around the globe are trying to help these people who are stunned and numb with grief and a sense of hopelessness. They are desperate for food, water, medicine, shelter, and any other necessity of life as they wander the streets searching for their families, their friends, and places they used to frequent. Rescuers are facing extreme difficulty as they attempt to find safe structures and empty grounds to land planes and other vehicles so they can deliver those supplies. The growing problem now is that they must bury or dispose corpses as quickly as possible before devastating diseases break out and further destroy the people. The images on the news are heartbreaking, just heartbreaking.
What makes this disaster any "worse" than the other devastating disasters (tsunamis, earthquakes, volcano, floods, etc) experienced around the world in the last few years? It is not just the loss of lives and loss of architecture. Haiti is a poverty-stricken nation. Haiti has little to no resources to recover. If they were not aware of it before, they most likely are painfully aware now. There are some people, Pat Robertson being most vocal at the moment, who insist that Haitians have brought this upon themselves, as a result of a curse upon the land from centuries ago.
Biblically speaking, I can see how they can arrive at such a conclusion. After all, God can, has, and DOES use weather and natural disasters from time to time to get mankind back off of ourselves~~Noah's flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, plagues of Egypt, earthquake of Jericho, prophet's drought, Paul's shipwreck, etc, etc~~but we also need to remember that the rain falls upon the just AND the unjust; the wheat and the tares experience the same circumstances. The differences between the camps will be how we respond to the circumstances we face. Do we see typhoons, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanos, floods, etc, as only "acts of God?" Do we acknowledge (blessing or cursing) Him only during times of natural crisis? Or do we acknowledge His Greater Presence during our times of tranquility and peace, also? During the flood, is our house built upon a rock or upon sand? Are we so smug as to declare another country completely unrighteous and "deserving" of this tragedy while we face our own national troubles? I hope not. I'm praying that if we had the house built upon a rock that we could offer a hand to the one who built his house upon the sands. "My people perish for lack of knowledge."
Right now, the prayer and resources for survival are vital for the Haitians and their families and friends. WHEN they come to a time to rebuild, I pray that God will send his people to them, and that Haiti will be receptive to their wisdom, rebuilding lives one step at a time. In the meantime, GOOGLE can help you find many sites accepting donation and relief aid to Haiti if you're inclined to donate or give your time and expertise.
God bless each and every one of you enjoying a hot meal, warm bed, cold water, and a roof over your heads tonight.