days have gone by, almost a week now, since the earthquake that devastated Haiti and today another aftershock…ever sit around at home seeing the images on tv, hearing the stories on the radio, and see more of everything on the internet and wish you could jump on a plane and help out? get your hands dirty, so to speak? I am sure many people have felt this, i certainly have. Everything in my day to day life seems small, irrelevant to what is happening there. I want to go and help, swoop in and be a saviour – but how realistic is that? it’s the hot topic of the day, the week and it should be. Haiti needs help, but perhaps sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. it is so easier to sit criticising the efforts, to blame, to be an armchair quarterback – thinking i could do so much better. let me go and show them how it is done! we all do it, don’t we?
The desire to help is wonderful and we should nurture it as our world needs more of it. However, having thousands of people swoop down into haiti will only create more logistical and coordination nightmare. oh we mean well, but the need for help will be there for the long term – will you? are you willing to nurse the desire to help out, but wait a number of weeks or months? are you willing to give your money now and your time later? Are you willing to go when it is not in the news, when the media are talking about the next big thing? Haiti will be recovering from this tragedy for the next few years – perhaps our help will be needed then as well.
i sit with a desire to go and then i think about the bodies in the streets, the bodies to step over/around, i think about the stench of death in the air, the rubble and screams everywhere, and i think of the children jumping rope in the middle of bodies and broken houses and i smile. there is hope for tomorrow, there is a god that cares, there are angels walking the streets. yes, i desire to go to be a part of something much bigger than i, but perhaps as i wait i should think about my neighbour beside me who is need and maybe i should start at home.