devastation in Haiti

this is a re-post of an email that I sent out to my Kairos community here today:

The events of the past couple of days motivated me to send a quick email out to you all. By now, you are well acquainted with the fact that two days ago on January 12, Haiti was hit near the capital of Port-au-Prince with a massive, level 7.0 earthquake — the most devastating earthquake in the nation’s history. The damage to buildings in some areas is almost total and the number of injured or dead is unknown at this time. Yesterday, President René Préval described the destruction as “unimaginable.” The Haiti Red Cross says the toll maybe be 50,000, while Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said a preliminary assessment led him to fear that the number of dead could be “well over 100,000.” One magazine called it Hell on earth, and these pictures back up that assessment.

One is rendered speechless when reading, and looking at the utter devastation. We can find feelings arising within us of senselessness, sadness, anger, frustration and even helplessness…

Yesterday, I found some perspective when reading thoughts by Scot McKnight:

“…I read this from Randy Harris, God Work – Confessions of a Standup Theologian:

One of the things we do as Christians is to try to pay attention to what God might be able to do in the world, especially with the broken places in our lives. These aren’t good things. They generally aren’t things God does to us. This Romans passage [chp 8] says God can crawl in the middle of it because he works in all things and nothing can stand in the way of God reconciling all things to himself. …

We have to believe and live out the reality that God is taking things somewhere and that nothing can stop it. And our task then is to join God in his reconciling work that that he began before creation. … So we join God in what he’s trying to do in the world.

I make no claim to know what God is doing in Haiti, but I do know that God’s intent is to reconcile all things to himself and so, in prayer, in giving, and in mobilizing humans to help the suffering of Haiti, we commit ourselves to enter now into the work of binding up the brokenhearted and healing the wounded. May we crawl, with God, into this rubble and be the presence of God, bring the presence of God, and lead Haiti into the healing presence of God .”

Amen to that!

There are many great organizations to give to for the relief effort. I would strongly encourage you to do something, no matter the amount. (Self-righteous religion is always marked by insensitivity to issues of social injustice, while true faith is marked by profound concern for the poor and marginalized. ~Tim Keller) I have listed just a few on my blog – that could help you know where to start.

Another thing — Ben Witherington also has some excellent thoughts on Where is God in all of this? I would encourage you to read it.

One last thing — if you are interested in these kind of things, Don Miller, and Andrew Jones have thoughts on the sheer silliness (& stupidity) of comments that have been made about how this disaster came about…

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