All eyes are on Haiti. Hearts have opened up, minds have focused in on this tiny little country that has so much less than most people will ever realize. Suddenly, people everywhere are studying Haiti. People everywhere are learning about poverty in a way they’ve never considered before. Hearts are broken, tears continue to fall a week later. All eyes are fixed and compassion has been ignited.
The state of Haiti is worsened now, but Haiti has been devastated for quite some time. Most of the people have nothing at all, many live on less than $2.00 per day and sleep in lean-to shacks made of discarded materials. There is corruption and starvation and epidemic of disease, and this has been the case for so long that few even realize it continues. But now, all eyes are on Haiti, and the world is seeing the reality.
Though the word “punishment” has been bandied about, I wonder instead if God allows such devastation not for the people who suffer it as much as for those who do not. I wonder if natural disaster, destruction, oppression and suffering occur so that all hearts are made aware. To show us what we do not see, to teach us what we fail to learn for ourselves. “God does not punish the helpless. True judgment begins with the family of God” (Jeff Warren).
When disaster strikes, hearts are made aware. People begin to act, to move, to pray and deliver hope. Would that we do all this without such devastation. May compassion and service be on our hearts without global events spurring us to action. And may God’s restoration come quickly to the Haitian people. A mighty work has begun.