Thoughts About Haiti
Thoughts about Haiti:
One of the things that struck me about the people of Haiti is the strong representation of humanity. I saw the good and the bad. I saw adorable generosity. I saw abhorrent greed and manipulation. I saw intense need, and yet I saw incredible contentment. I saw a full picture of humanity.
One of the things I saw that illustrated the need of Haitians was during VBS time. One of the things that was done during that time was the children were given food and water. They gave the children these bags of water. It was like a strange Capri-Sun without a straw and if Capri-Sun came in a sandwich bag. When those bags of water came out the place went crazy. “Hey you! You!” was there urgent cry as they tried to grab a bag of water. These children reacted so strongly to these bags of water, and I couldn’t help but wonder how children in America would react if we tried to give them baggies of water. Clearly there is an urgent need. This is what it means to be human. There is always need. There are always moments when we are found wanting. Sometimes our need is demonstrated in our lack. Sometimes our need is revealed in our abundance. Either way we find ourselves in need of something greater than what we can provide.
As the children begged for water, I witnessed some of them try to hide their bag of water only to try to obtain yet another bag of water. We would ask them if they already received their bag, and they would boldly proclaim that they were indeed bagless. We would point to their bag and they would smile as if to say, “Well, I tried!” There was clear lying and manipulation. Sin was on full display. I saw humanity. But I would witness something else during those moments. I would see some give their bags of water to another peer who seemed to need it. I would watch one save half a bag, and as their group would move on to the next station of VBS they would quickly give that bag to a younger person, perhaps a family member or maybe a friend, as another group passed by. They clearly were looking out for one another. I saw generosity. I saw love. I saw humanity.
Humans are capable of so many things. They are capable of extraordinary love, and yet they are capable of extraordinary hate. They can accomplish so much for the greater good yet they have lived with such immense self-centeredness. This is what it is to be human. We are made in the image of God so we often display His characteristics that are always good. We show kindness, generosity, and love. We start humanitarian organizations. We help our fellow human. We are moved when tragedy strikes. We accomplish much good. This is what humanity was supposed to be. Yet we are full of sin, so we show our corruption of God’s design. We kill. We go to war. We rape. We enslave. We live in order to solely enrich ourselves. We discard humanity’s intended design and we corrupt it to fit our immediate and depraved urges. This is what it is to be human. This is what we have corrupted humanity to be.
All these years of depravity. All these years of dysfunction. All these years of corruption. Why is there still war? Why is slavery still existent? Why is racism still in the hearts of humans? Why is there still so much self-centeredness? Why can a human being be so good and so bad, even in the same day? Why? This is what it means to be human. Though we are capable of much, we are in far more need than what we can actually accomplish on our own. We are in a hole. We need help. This is not a cop-out. It is reality. If humanity could fix itself, it would have. This is what it means to be human. We are in need!
What is tempting for me as a spoiled American, is to come back from the poorest country in our hemisphere and say that the people of Haiti need more than me. In reality our need is the same. It just manifests differently. They need water. I have so much access to water that I take it for granted and need to be constantly reminded of how blessed I am in having life-giving and life-sustaining water at my convenience. My need is to be reminded that I cannot supply all needs. The people of Haiti are human. So am I. We both are in need. We both need Jesus!
Faith is trusting in Jesus even when every support system in your life has failed. Faith is trusting in Jesus and therefore acknowledging that your ideas for self-sustainment and self-gratification are woefully inadequate and even evil. Faith acknowledges your need. Faith admits and proclaims that Jesus is the ONLY fulfillment of that need. Faith eliminates the temporary from our focus so that all that remains is our eternal King, Jesus Christ!
This is what it means to be human! We were intended to be with Jesus for all of eternity. We corrupted ourselves by choosing to live according to our design and thereby rejecting His. But Jesus once again showed that He intends to spend eternity with us by offering us salvation and giving us a remedy for our corruption. He offers to show us again what it means to be human, the way He intended for us to be. He satisfies our need. What glorious news! It is good to be a human! So what do we do? We must acknowledge our need, and we must turn solely to Jesus to satisfy that need. You may find that your temporary situation will remain. The people of Haiti still need water. But they now have eternal peace knowing that Jesus offers spiritual water that will quench their souls for all of eternity. The brokenness they feel now, will be made whole once again! Praise the Lord that my God supplies all my needs!