The Haiti earthquake grabbed me, and the rest of the World like an angry storm. The horrific and catastrophic proportions of this earthquake left me and the author of the following poem unable to function. I have attempted to come to terms with what has happened and to make sense of it all, but I’ve found that the more important issue to focus my attention on should be how the World has responded.
That’s what matters.
Humanity, has taken my breath away.
A child has lost her mother.
A child is fighting cancer.
A child is buried, dead, under the rubble of her own house.
A child is buried, alive, under the rubble of her own city.
…and the world has not stopped.
Facebook status updates include tasks for the day, drinks to be had tonight, TV shows to be watched tomorrow.
Twitter updates share the ratings on new movies, where they’re going to eat, what they’re going to rock.
…the world has not stopped.
Traffic will still greet me tomorrow, as we go on with our day. Children will still come to the gym where one membership cost would feed 10 families in Haiti. Children will play. Adults will work out, stroking their vanity.
…because the world will not stop.
And yet the Haitian world was shook today. Violently. The terror rumbled through the streets, tearing down anything in its path. Buildings. Streets. Mothers. Fathers. Children.
…their world, it stopped.
I was once told that, when someone dies, God gives us the initial shock because we aren’t meant to handle all the pain at once. What does He give us when thousands die…at once? Where is He? Is He crying in the streets of Port-Au-Prince? Is He crushed beneath the ruins of a country? Is He sleeping beside the concrete piles?
…did His world stop?
City walls. Broken. Homes. Broken. Families. Broken. Life. Broken. A people group. Broken. Hearts. Broken. The World. Are we broken? Broken for the sake of another human life? Broken for the devastation of a nation? Broken for the destruction of thousands of families, millions of children? Are we broken?
Tonight, my world hasn’t stopped. The minute hand still moves every 60 seconds, taunting me. This shelter, protecting me, provokes an emptiness. These clothes, surrounding me, infuriate me. The cupboards, stalked full, make me nauseous. The human still awake, dancing to his music, evokes rage within me. The world should be stopping. And yet, it moves on…seemingly untainted.
And I move on, powerless against it.
I move on, broken.
I move on, hurt.
I move on, angry.
I move on, confused.
I move on, unsettled.
I move on, hardened, refusing to be resilient.
For I stand against the notion that one person, one family, one community, one city, one country, will recoil back into the same shape after having been compressed.
I am moved to tears by the strength of my dear friend who wrote this. I am also moved to tears by the millions of people who are doing the helping people, and loving on others every second somewhere in the World. In the midst of sadness we need to be reminded that there are great people in this world, working very hard for justice.