Friday, January 15, 2010

Help Them

How do we explain or understand the aftermath of nature declaring war on itself.

Since I have a lot more time than you do, I've been glued to the TV watching the coverage on the Haitian earthquake. The coverage has been very good. I've mostly been watching CNN, but I'm sure the other channels provide yeoman's service as well. I'm always ready to criticize television, but not for Haiti.

The news correspondents stand in the devastation repeating the same short phrases tinged with incomprehension. Their lucidity gives way to vague repetition, their slick professionalism gives way to humanity. We live in a world where we use words to define emotions, but the correspondents' words are the emotions themselves. We connect with the on site reporters not through their presentations, but through their witness. We see what the camera sees, but aren't able to feel what the correspondents feel. We may get a glimpse of the terror and numbness in the Haitians eyes, but the correspondents feel that terror and numbness and so convey it to us. God bless them all.

They stumble over words and keep repeating the same phrases peppered with "unbelievable","horrible", "hellish", and "tragic". Their minds go back to the same phrases, as if by repetition the truth of the situation will form. Like losing the car keys and repeatedly visiting the places the keys should be. The reporters offer good witness.

As I watch, I think. What can I do? Me, recuperating from a sophisticated surgery of choice involving thousands of dollars while some Haitians could gain a footing on the future for want of antibiotics that cost five cents. Why is life so unfair? Why does this happen? I don't think the answer to those questions are of this world. Not even in scripture...the first place I would look. I think scripture offers the map to the answer, but not the answer itself.

I can give. Don't have much, but again the news channels list viable and effective charities (and also some that are scams). I've also looked on
that lists many (not all) organizations, their financial effectiveness, and payroll (shame on some of them).

I can pray. I don't pray enough. I sometimes think I need to use words of careful consideration and deference to God. I sometimes look up prayers of tradition and those written by others: all good. But I think all prayer is the same to God. It can be a thought, a silent pause in the day, a sound....even just the phrase, "help them".

Whether you have firm faith, little faith, no faith, or aren't sure what life is all about, I hope you hold those words in your heart and share them with God or what you believe to be a higher power...."help them".

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