Lying awake this week, still struggling with jetlag, I turned on the TV, to CNN. An initial report about an earthquake in Haiti had just come in. I haven't the words for what followed. I think anyone looking at that initial report had an idea of what would come, hoping for the best, but expecting something else.
People ask why God has forsaken Haiti. God has not forsaken Haiti. We have. Human beings. We have created the situation in this world which allows a Haiti like this to exist in the first place. And if we don't change how we think and how we act, things for countries like Haiti will only get worse, if it's even remotely possible.
This crisis brings out the best and worst in people. Donations have poured in from around the globe, from people who have problems feeding their own families. The international community has sprung into action. The logistical nightmare of getting the help in will eventually get resolved, but not before many, many more people are scooped up into backhoes and dumped into mass graves. But a tragedy has moved the world, once more, into action.
Then you have humans (I use that word loosely) like Pat Robertson, who announced that Haiti made a deal with the devil, and that is why these bad things keep happening there. Would someone please tell this to the woman in the picture so she has some explanation for her misery? Reverend Robertson, it is time for you to go away. You should be ashamed.
What in this horrific situation is there to be grateful for, you ask? I ask myself the same thing. Maybe that once again, we are reminded of our own fragility. That this will make us, in some way, more careful with each other. Less likely to obsess about our own failings and worries. More willing to extend ourselves in times of need. Maybe this will make more of us more socially active, more aware. Less likely to assume the worst about each other. More likely to give each other the benefit of the doubt.
Not that it would have been worth the endless suffering of Haiti, but it would be something that could arise from the rubble.