Night before last I couldn't go to sleep until I could remember who had won the World Series in the last ten years. The night before that my mind wouldn't rest until I remembered who was Homecoming Queen and Prom Queen all four years of high school.
WHO. IS THAT. WEIRD?!?! I mean, c'mon!
I try to drown out the thoughts with TV but that doesn't seem to help.
I think my mind has been racing because I've been reading a lot lately. Thoughts are provoked. Values are challenged.
I read a book in two days this past weekend. TWO. DAYS. I know to some of you that may not seem like a big deal. Some of you read books in one sitting in one day. For me, that's never really been a reality. I get distracted and usually get sleepy after one chapter. Ask me how many books I actually finished on my summer reading lists in middle school and high school. I can probably count them on one (and maybe half a) hand.
I read Same Kind Of Different As Me this past weekend. And boy, if it didn't completely turn my world upside down.
And then this Haiti Earthquake thing now. I sat in bed last night watching Anderson Cooper (I don't care what you say, he is precious and I love him) report live from Haiti. And I cried. And cried.
And I know those were just more little steps in the plan that God has to completely destroy the life that I have now and for me to never find anything to be happy about ever again.
I hope you detected a large amount of sarcasm lathered over that last statement because I couldn't been more fueled and excited while also completely scared out of my wits about the transformation that God is doing in my heart right now. It's scary. And real. And fun.
I started asking my dad questions last night about the Haitian kids that he's encountered over the years that he's been in the Jackson Public School District. Not only has he had Haitian kids, he's had Somalians and Kenyans and Sudanese. And he's had to play bodyguard a few times as well. But that's enough about my dad (I could go on for days).
He told me about how the Catholic Charities get these kids from refugee camps, take them from having almost nothing and place them in a home where there are given more than they could have ever imagined. They don't know when their birthdays are so they are all basically given the same birthday. A 24-year old Sudanese kid could be given a birthday that states that he is 16, just so that he has the opportunity to get an education and play sports.
How heart breaking is it to not even know your real birthday.
I hear that and my heart breaks. I look at the TV and my heart breaks. I look around my apartment and feel guilty for what I have. I had a hamburger for lunch and it's not even settling right in my stomach because not so far in the back of my mind, I know the desperation there is almost 1400 miles away from me. And all I can do is send money.
I can't get on a plane and fly there. I can't go and lift up stones and bandage wounds and wipe tears away. I can't take a plate of food to that woman that is sitting on a pile of rubble. I can't hug that little boy tight who just watched four members of his family die and share with him the hurt that I would feel if my family had been ripped out from under me.
All I can do is just sit and ask God why it's happening.
I read last night the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Don't worry. I'm not going to get all Pat Roberston on you.) Abraham pleaded with God on behalf of those people. He knew their sin but he pleaded anyway. He said, "God, how can you, such a loving, compassionate God, look at a place like that and completely destroy it knowing that there might be righteous people there?" He pleaded and pleaded until God finally told him that if even there were a few righteous found, that he would spare the whole place.
Now we know that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed but God spared Lot, because he remembered Abraham's compassion.
There's your hope.
Not matter what happens, not matter how horrible this all looks, not matter how many people die, God's got good in it.
Yes. It's very heartbreaking that most of the people who died in this catastrophe died without ever hearing the gospel. But the fact is that God doesn't allow things to happen without a purpose. And He will make Himself known no matter what. God doesn't just destroy cities and cause bad things to happen because it's fun. It's not fun. He allowed his own son to die for you and me. I'm sure that was not fun at all.
But there was a purpose. The purpose of salvation. The purpose of allowing someone perfect to come in a take all of my imperfection on himself, look the devil in the face, and say, "YOU LOSE. THIS ONE IS MINE." All for the purpose of freeing me from my imperfection so that I can be free to live a perfect life in Jesus Christ. And the hope (undoubtful knowledge) that I will one day sit with Him in the place that he has prepared for me.
"The Lord gives, and the Lord takes. May the name of the Lord be praised." Job 1:21
Please join with me, and the rest of the world, in prayer for the Haitian people. Pray also for the rescue workers and people there working around the clock to supply aid. Pray those who are literally dragging people out of the rubble and pray for those they are rescuing. This is not an easy thing for any part involved.
Also if you would like to donate to aid, check out the following ways:
- Compassion International
- American Red Cross
- Hope For Haiti
- Anyone with a mobile phone and an account with a major wireless carrier can text the phrase “Haiti” to the number 90999 and donate $10 to the Red Cross. Amount is charged to the donor’s cellphone bill.
- Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti Fund
- Text "Yele" to 501501 to donate $5 to Yele Haiti.
- Samaritan's Purse