I hope and pray that the Haitian people can receive the comfort and relief that they need right now. You can text YELE to 501501 to donate $5 to the earthquake disaster relief. Also, American Airlines is taking doctors and nurses to Haiti for free. Please call 212-697-9767. And a friend and trusted source highly recommends Partners in Health as a good organization to support as they send aid to Haiti. And if you do #Haiti on twitter, you'll find lots of stuff too.
As I work on the "Soul" section of my writing project, I have been doing more Bible study and reflection lately. So perhaps that's why in regards to Haiti, in addition to my heart just going out to the victims and survivors on a purely human level, so much is also on my mind about the disaster from a spiritual standpoint.
I recently read this passage in John where a man who has been blind since birth comes to Jesus and asks for healing, and receives his sight. There's actually a LOT going on in this passage but the thing that stuck out for me, and which applies to the Haiti disaster, is the fact that the disciples were stuck on one question about the guy: they wanted to know why this man was afflicted with his condition since birth. They wanted to know if his situation was the result of sin. This reminds me of Job's story--how all his homies came to console him after he lost his kids, his land, his animals, got sick, etc. Anyway they come to comfort him and end up just insinuating that he must have sinned against God, and that he should just get over with it by cursing God. Gee, thanks guys, that helps.
Now, 2010, enter Pat Robertson's judgemental ass and his cockamamey (excuse the spelling) rationale for why this disaster befell the Haitian people: he claims they made a deal with the devil a long time ago. Are you freaking kidding me?! Pat, you need to check yourself! Seriously. His response is sad, crazy, and sick. But so consistent, I guess, with the way human nature works a lot of the time. I think a lot of us do that on a smaller scale; we see someone who is down on their luck and we wonder what they must have done to get there. Perhaps this is just a natural response, but for me I'm going to try to focus instead on what I can do to help another person, rather than judging and assessing what they must have done wrong to deserve their circumstances. Cuz if that's the way things work--we're all in for it.
A comfort: God isn't like that. Yes, the Bible says that the wages of sin is death, and that sins get punished. But luckily, with God we have second chances and we have grace. Also luckily, Jesus was (and IS) about healing people, saving people, rather than condemning and persecuting. I'm still figuring a lot of stuff out about myself, my spirituality, religion, etc., but at least for the moment, I'm very comforted at that thought.
Again, I hope and pray that Haiti can find some comfort. Haiti, j'ai une coeur blesse pour vous.