The initial news of the disastrous earthquake in Haiti shook me – I was mortified by the magnitude of the destruction of both life and property and used TV and the Internet to keep myself as up-to-date as possible on the quake’s damage.  And then, without really realizing it, I began to distance myself from the gruesome images and horrific stories.  I wrote my check to the Red Cross, I said a prayer for the people of Haiti, and I subconsciously tucked the tragedy away in that corner of my heart reserved for seemingly hopeless cases.  My apathetic attitude came to light tonight and I knew that I should re-inform myself.  I started with a 60 Minutes segment on the latest activity in Port-au-Prince.  Tears streamed down my face as I watched bull-dozers dump piles of bodies into trucks headed for mass graves.  A child’s leg was amputated with an old hacksaw, for lack of decent medical supplies.  A swollen and bloody man was pulled from a pile of rubble after four days of being trapped among the ruins of a concrete building.  Absolutely gut-wrenching.  I set my computer aside, buried my face in my pillow, and cried.

I don’t mind shedding tears, if that’s the price I pay for being more well-informed.  I don’t mind donating money, encouraging my co-workers and friends to do the same, posting ‘pray for Haiti’ messages on Facebook.  But none of these things are going to return a lost child to the arms of her dead parents, or reunite a crushed and broken family.  My money, my sadness, and even my prayers feel so insignificant in the face of such loss.  And so, like so many people around the world, I see a glimpse of just how bad things are in the wake of this disaster, and I am called to…???  God, I wish I knew how to fill in that blank.

photo from here.


  1. brieanne says:

    I know exactly how you feel! I’ve been following World Vision’s tweets on Twitter…it’s just so profoundly sad, and as a World Vision employee said, “The relief effort is like putting a band-aid on broken leg.”

    I already told Brandon that I might be crazy but I’ve been thinking about going over there later if/when they try to rebuild down the road…between architecture skills and French skills maybe somehow I could help…I’m just not sure that it’s going to pan out for Haiti. Not to mention the other devastated parts of the world that aren’t in the news…

  2. Steve says:

    I agree as well. I can’t get certain images out of my head and it just crushes my spirit to know that there isn’t much I can do. It is even hard to pray about it.