200,000 estimated dead from the Haitian earthquake.
250,000 estimated injured.
Such devastation, and yet the statistics don't end with these numbers. With the potential for infectious disease looming the death and displacement numbers will likely skyrocket. For me it's heart wrenching.
But these statistics aren't nearly as disgusting as what I've seen in some Christian circles.
Here is a glimpse into the Christian conversations I've heard and seen.
Is this God's judgement on Haiti? (due to voodoo practices) This must be their call to repent.
Why should we help Haiti now? They've been content with poverty and lack of government as their standard. It's not our job to bail them out.
This is God's mercy - bringing death - to Haiti. (That's right, they're poor, put them out of their misery. Oh, and while we're at it, my grandma is in Hospice care. Let's help her out of her misery, too...)
I've had enough of this ridiculousness. Look again at the girl in the picture. Ask her if she need our flawed human intellect. Or does she need water, food, shelter, hope?
Pick nearly any moral cause and somewhere there's sweat dripping off the brow of those fighting against it. Yet here we have possibly the greatest natural disaster (in terms of causalities and displacement) we've seen in recent history and obscured theology threatens to override action.
Regardless of who we are, or any questions we have, one pivotal issue cannot be ignored: God loves the people of Haiti. Is there corruption in that country? Yes. Is the country riddled with poverty? Absolutely. Do voodoo and witchcraft practice obscure? No doubt. While spiritually these issues are significant it doesn't change the fact that Jesus came for the sick, the ones who need Him most.
Like many I wondered, "Why Haiti?" I think that's a normal question in the face of such suffering. There will always be circumstances that prompt us to ask God, "Why?" Yet, does knowing the answer to that question change our response? I hope not. Our job as Believers is to pray, to give, to serve, to love. Entertaining judgement over the circumstance accomplishes none of these. We are to be Jesus Christ to the hurting, regardless.
Action will always outweigh reflection. While contemplation is valid and allows us to learn, if we camp out there, we can spend too long sitting on our haunches and forget to do anything. Is it wrong to want to understand what happened in Haiti? No. But if understanding is our goal we're headed to hell in a Haiti basket.
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. I Corinthians 15:58
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