Saturday, January 23, 2010

Haiti- the limited power of events

I have found it very difficult to watch the events in Haiti after the earthquake on January 12. So much suffering. Feeling so powerless. Feeling numb after seeing the same clips over and over. But then something started to catch my attention. The first time it was sweet and reassuring. The tenth and twentieth time, with different people each time, it became a confirmed and noticeable pattern. I am referring to the number of people, especially among those who had been trapped and then were freed, who said that they were not scared under the rubble because they handed it over to God. And they trusted God.

They couldn't have made this up. They couldn't have been talking pious platitudes in the face of such reality. They were talking of their real experience and their real behaviour.

I have told so many people so many times in my psychologist's office that the challenge facing them in their difficulty is to not let it determine the kind of day they were having. Events and people do not have that power. It is theirs, they need to claim it for themselves.

The people of Haiti do themselves proud. They witness so beautifully, so simply. God did not cause this tragedy, but God is there with the victims, reminding them that not even a collapsed building wins when they trust their God. God remains the anchor of all meaning in their lives. Thank you, people of Haiti, you have given me a great gift.

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