Friday, July 30, 2010

Outside looking in.

I just stumbled upon this documentary.
It is an accurate account of some of the current struggles that the Haitian people are facing.
Be warned, the tone of this report is very somber. If the earthquake wasn't enough, people are still living in the same (if not worse) despair, fear and oppression as the days following January 12th.

This video prompts me to ask the same questions I asked after the earthquake.
Where is the hope for this country?
When will these people ever see healing?
Will the pain ever relent?
Where are you God?

The book of Joel has laid open on the table in my kitchen for a while now. A few days ago I read chapter 2 during my breakfast and those words hang deep in my heart with precious lives from a country that has become home. It's very hard for me being on the 'outside looking in'. Knowing the desperate state of so many, and now understanding further the conditions of so many others while currently being in a place of so much peace and abundance. It's like standing in the sunshine while looking through the glass into the heart of a terrible storm on the other side. My heart is so restless.

'Even now' declares the Lord, 'return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.' - Joel 2:12-13

Hearts are breaking.
Rending to the despair that grips such a helpless nation.
The confusion, the abuse, the terror, the insecurity... It's so easy to drown in doubt.
And yet the Lord promises in His word to return. He promises to respond in love, mercy and compassion. To bring healing and new life and rejoicing.

In the world's eyes, it's a hopeless situation. A lost battle.
The fight for rights. The lack of accountability over the UN. The political struggle. The imbalance of wealth. The rubble that still exists on every street corner.
But we have hope to believe in the Lord's promises. In the lyrics written by Claudel Senat (the worship pastor at the Church of Hope) following the earthquake:
God has the solution for us, with two hands open He waits to restore us.

This is certainly not a 'band-aid' remedy. How I wish I could snap my finger and give parents to the orphans or give a home to the family living under a bed sheet. But sometimes there is more to be learned by walking by faith and trusting in the Lord's provision one life at a time.
I must not be downcast or be quick to anger. I must choose to believe in the Lord's faithfulness. There is no other hope.
I need to remember the beautiful women raising their voices in praise after receiving new prosthetic legs. I need to remember how the Lord spared the lives of my friends who were amongst the crashing buildings. I need to remember the overflow of people in church on Sunday mornings, and the hundreds who have surrendered their lives to the truth of Jesus.
I won't deny the battle, but I must keep my eyes fixed on the character of God and the love He has for His children, the way He gently weaves beautiful stories of hope.
Just as the shadow proves the sunshine, so these days of darkness reveal stories of hope and restoration. May it be real to those who need it most today.

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