Most of us have reached the point where we’re probably ready to turn the page and think about something else. The Massachusetts elections? The NFL playoffs this weekend? There’s always something to turn our attention away from those things that are too hard to look at, but don’t forget about Haiti.
Reports say that another big earthquake (6.1) hit the island again this morning. Aftershock or not–that’s a big earthquake. It’s great to see so many aid organizations jump into motion to help the people there. It’s a blessing in many ways to see the orphaned children being brought to the States and lovingly taken into safe homes. But the devastation is still almost unimaginable.
Why did it happen? Pat Robertson doesn’t know. His claim that Haitian devil worship brought this on is irresponsible and arrogant. Did God send Pat an email? How would he know? We know that sin does bring tragedy into our lives, but we’re all sinners, and we haven’t had a natural disaster here in Searcy in a long time. Maybe it was because of their sin, and maybe it wasn’t. God doesn’t always make things that clear. But the tragedy should remind us of the destructiveness of sin and death. It should lead us to search for God and for the comfort He offers.
In our small groups here at West Side, we’re spending five weeks studying the Old Testament book of Lamentations. It’s comprised of five chapters with each chapter being a lament poem. If you want to know what people in Haiti are going through, if you want to know how many of them are feeling and the questions they’re asking, read Lamentations. Just read it and you’ll be awestruck by the questions, the emotions, and the horror of one who experienced the siege and then the total destruction of Jerusalem almost 2600 years ago. Read it and you’ll have a glimpse of what it must be like for so many who are barely surviving in Haiti today. It’s not an exact parallel, but the destruction must be similar in many ways.
Once you’ve read Lamentations, say another prayer for the people of Haiti. Say a prayer for yourself. Thank God that this tragedy hasn’t touched your life and that you still have an opportunity to live for Him. Then don’t forget to remember the people whose lives have been warped and shaken forever by these massive earthquakes. May God save the innocent and make Himself known to all the world, even in the face of terrible tragedies like the one in Haiti. May we be the helpers and the compassionate neighbors that Christ calls us to be in His name. But for the grace of God….