"I don't think that a word has been invented for what is happening in Haiti. It is total disaster". - Food for the Poor project manager Liony Batista
It could have been us. That big devastating earthquake that hit Haiti could have been here. We could be mourning and burying our dead while still searching for missing loved ones.
My heart is breaking for the people of that country so far away that it feels like another world - but it's not, it's our world, they are our people, and we must share in their pain. What kind of people are we if we don't?
I've been trying to keep up, hoping to hear soon how to help from this distance. K-LOVE has posted on their site an email from Mark Stuart, lead singer of Audio Adrenaline. This group has been working in Haiti for several years. You can link to K-LOVE here to read it and see how to help. There is also a list of charity organizations and links to them.
In times like this all I seem to feel is helpless. I see the pictures and hear the news and a feeling within me stirs and I yearn to be there, to do something.
Prayer. I can offer prayer, and I have been. It is Satan that continues to send me this helpless feeling. I know from my Father's own sweet promises that prayers are heard and answered.
"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it" (John 14:13-14).
And I know that our Savior feels our pain and understands grief.
"Jesus wept" (John 11:35).
The Bible tells us twice in the book of Luke that Jesus could perceive the thoughts of those around him.
"But Jesus, aware of their reasonings . . . " (Luke 5:22)
"But He knew what they were thinking . . . " (Luke 6:8)
Jesus knew as He stood at the tomb of His dear friend Lazarus that in moments He would raise him from the dead and rejoicing would surround Him. So, why was He crying? Jesus didn't feel helpless or ache with the sorrow that one feels when they are grieving, hurting with the knowledge that they won't see a loved one this side of Heaven again. He knew He'd see Lazarus alive in a moment. So, why was He crying?
Jesus was crying because He felt their pain, He knew their thoughts. The pain of his dear friends, Mary and Martha, the pain of all those gathered around Him at that moment. This verse shows the extraordinary love of our Savior for us. Knowing what He would do in just a moment, but taking the time to feel the grief of those He loved.
It goes so much farther than that. It goes so much deeper. I believe at that moment He felt the pain of all the souls He had created. He felt the pain that each person from the beginning of time to the end of time would feel. He felt our sorrow. He was overwhelmed with the sorrow of the Haitian people as He saw ahead in time to their grief.
Jesus came to this earth to defeat death but His heart agonized with the weight of the pain that it causes His children. If you are a Christian the moment you close your eyes in death on this earth you are immediately awakened into the presence of God. But for those left behind, the sorrow is agony. He understood this for us and He cried for us.
The greatness of those words, Jesus wept, should bring us to our knees in a desperate quest to discover what we can do for others in times of tragedy.
The Master of the Universe wept for us. He wept for me and He wept for you.
It could make me feel that anything I can do would be small and insignificant in comparision to what He did. But I know better, I know the power of prayer - and intermingled with my prayers for the suffering of these people is my prayer for Satan to get behind me, in the name of Jesus, and to stop making me feel helpless.
The following verse is one I grasp often. It's how I imagine the people of Haiti are praying now.
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express" (Romans 8:26).
Above all, as hard as it is for our minds to comprehend joy in tragedy like this, may our God be glorified through it all. May His name be exalted. The giver of life, the taker of life, and the understander of why.
May souls be saved and lives be changed.
An Email from Haiti