The orange walls and striking blue doorways. The piles of dust and stacks of broken homes holding smiles, bright and hopeful. The night that comes so quickly and the morning that chases close after. The children dancing on gravel and destruction. Beautiful, dusty feet flying and twisting. Playing on shredded trash and muddied earth. These are beautiful people. Compassion and kindness bound together by stolen childhoods and aching bones. The need to love and hold on so long that the hug becomes more. It becomes a piece of time on a spinning Earth that freezes just long enough to change you. And oh, can a touch forever change you.
This Earth is so broken, so desperate for hope, for restoration, for kindness. Haiti has become a home to me that I never knew I could long for. My first day there, all I could see was the bright colors, patterns and art up against the rubble, the dust, the collapsed buildings. It was a lot to digest. It almost felt like nothing matched or was supposed to go together. Like these things were from different worlds and all were plopped down in the same space.
It is easy for me to get angry. Here in America, I get angry about the government, the violence, the laziness, the addictions that lead to disrupted families, and a whole list of other things. But, in Haiti, all I felt was anger towards God. This God who is supposed to be loving, caring, and kind allowed the earth to quake and to rattle an entire country in to pieces. He allowed His Earth to convulse and destroy leaving bodies, families, and futures in ruins. As a team, we visited the memorial at the gravesite for thousands of lives lost to the 2010 earthquake and I couldn’t help but question why. Why, God? Why allow your Earth to do so much damage to such a beautiful people and land? Why allow children to be born into poverty and allow death to fill the ground? Unlike some angers I feel in America, this one felt personal. It felt like a direct connection between my God and the devastation I was standing on. Why wouldn’t God stop the earthquake if He truly commands the land? The classic, raw question of, “why does God allow bad things to happen” has been shattered into a million pieces, each holding a deeper and more personal ache. Why did God allow an entire country to be obliterated? Why?
God is a being that I cannot fully understand. I know that sounds ridiculous to skeptics, like, WHY PUT YOUR TRUST IN SOMETHING THAT YOU DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND? I hear that, and I get that. It’s crazy. But it’s faith. It is setting my dreams, hopes, hurts, and fears on something much larger, much deeper and much greater than my mind can grasp. There is infinite freedom in releasing the truth of “I don’t know.” There is infinite grace that comes when I surrender my anger to a God, so grand that I can rest in my smallness. I can rest knowing that I do not have to have the answers because I trust that He does. He may not share the answers with me. Yes, that is really freaking hard. But, there is freedom and magic and mystery and beauty in that. I crave that. To be able to lift my worries up and toss them to a God so good that I know I am safe to feel the hurt without having the answers.
I do not know why God allows devastation, but I do know that it encourages me to lean on Him who is so much wiser than I. I do not know why God allowed trauma to invade my life, but I trust that He can handle me krumping on Him in agony. I do not know why God allowed me to fall in love with children that I cannot adopt, but I trust that He has a better plan for both me and the children. I do not know why God allows families to fall apart, but I do know that He is a beautiful physician, famous for stitching up ripped edges when we least expect it. So, for now, I will pray for Haiti. I will beg God to heal wounds, to reunite families, to build new homes, and to be the hope for a hurting people. I will love deeper here in America. I will give of myself and allow myself the space to grieve. I will fight to remember and to remind others that even though we cannot understand Him, God is still Good.
I am grateful for the power of faith.