Someone I love very, very much said to me last night,
“Nobody knows how they can help. There are so many with the ability, but you just haven’t communicated what the needs are. What can we do? How can the body help? Please, Please, tell us!” My apologies! I didn’t realize your hands were so tied!
I have to be honest and say I’m very frustrated. No, in fact, if we’re being honest about it, I was up most of the night, because it pisses me off. And after that comes a broken heart. It crushes me.
Are you kidding? How can you help? I haven’t communicated? I’ve been talking about Haiti for over a year. Do I need to show you the children taking baths in filthy water? Do you need to see people drinking water that comes from that river, that just upstream someone is using for laundry, and just upstream from there someone is using to wash their cow, and just upstream from that someone is throwing in their latrine bucket?
Do you not see the sizes of these children in my photos? That you could wrap your hands around their forearms with your thumb and forefinger? All the kings horses and all the kings men, can we just not put you back together again, Humpty Dumpty?
Do you not read my words about slavery? Do you need me to record the pain in the voice of the girl who lives just up the road who has been raped and is now carrying the child inside to term? Do your nostrils need to be filled with the scent of the elderly woman too sick to move out of her bed, her bed that was built for a toddler? Do you need me to photograph someone mocking me, or record what is sounds like to have someone trying to get into your house in the middle of the night before you know how to pray?
There is poverty here. There is hunger here. There is darkness here. Do I need to somehow ship that to you in a box so you can smell it for yourself, open it up and soak it in on your altars just before you take communion?
I gave out the 95th Bible today. Over 30 people came down the mountain so they could have their own copy of God’s word. The clinic was closed, but nearby at the government school the janitor was busy getting ready for the first day of school on Monday. He saw the need, and he quickly opened up the first school room. The people jammed into the room and sat on the student benches. Patchouko gave them the gospel. We were all dripping with sweat. It must have been over 100 in that little room.
I asked if anyone in the room was hot, and everyone started laughing. I asked if everyone agreed that Hell would be hotter. The room was silent. We talked about Jesus. We wrote each persons name in their Bible, along with a message that Christ loves them. I shook their hands, I watched them all leave to start their hike back up the mountain. They were all carrying treasure. I cry when I remember their faces tonight, and I’m running out of Bibles again, because the need is so great.
Do I need to send you pictures of the empty boxes before you know that I have a need?
One of the Bibles I gave to a young boy. I asked if he could read. He said yes. I asked him to read a verse to me. His little voice shook. He trembled as he gave it his best shot. He tried so hard. He was intimidated by me, worried he might mess up. The verse I had him read was out of James..... it says that Elijah was a man, just like us. I asked him if he’d heard about all the things that Elijah did.
Yes, he said.
“I am just a man. There’s nothing special about me. Elijah was just a man. We have the same power that Elijah had, because that power is from God, not from us. And this is His Word to you. It’s yours now. Read it, and read it loud.” He smiled.
Do you see the need yet? But are you motivated to make a difference while you still have a heart that beats, while there's air in your lungs?
Here’s my question, Christian. Are you so disfunctional and unplugged from the rest of the aching world that you’ve decided you can only do nothing, and that’s somehow something?? I mean, you would have helped if only that missionary had given you the a,b,c,.....z steps how to get there, along with an itinerary and a strategic outline, and only if it fits into your paid vacation or sick days, right? Would you like me to just email your airline tickets, or better yet, I’ll have someone waiting to drive you from the airport. He’ll be standing in a 3-piece suit, holding a placard that says in big, black letters, “Christian.” He’ll be looking for you. Maybe he won’t be able to spot you in the crowd?
Do you want to help? Cut out the red tape garbage. Nobody cares about what organization you’re with. Are you with Jesus, or aren’t you? Brothers. Sisters. Enough trying to determine if we’re qualified or able.... HE is able. Do you have the availability? Can you lay down YOU long enough so show them HIM, and can you do it with a nameless face, with anonymity, with only the glory of Christ to remain in their hearts to remember your deeds? Can you do it, even if nobody back home knows, or cares? Because they won’t. There’s a big game on. There’s some latest, greatest, breaking news in the world. There’s this new movie that everyone’s been waiting to see. There’s a new restaurant that just opened....
My prayer tonight is that you puke before you listen to even one more Bible study, before you think about going off to seminary, before you download the next latest greatest expository to expand your puffed up knowledge.
When will it ever be enough? Maybe He can’t give you more until you use what you’ve already been given?
Only let us live up to what we’ve already attained.
I’ve been to Haiti 4 times, and I’ve lived here only 10 weeks total. I won’t pretend to have the answers, but I do know one thing for certain. Haiti doesn't need drama. It doesn't need excuses for inaction either.
It needs a people to awake.
The richest country on Earth, the most Christian country on Earth, is right next door, but too blind to step out of the kiddie pool and realize there is an OCEAN of need.
'Don't know where to start so doggone-it, we just can't help, cause we're clueless'…. that is a ridiculous excuse that will find a righteous, merciless verdict. The empathic, yet hands-tied Christian who chooses to be blind and live in riches while those around suffer will find his or her sentence in Hell on the Day of Judgement.
“Lord, Lord, did we not _________ fill in the blank in Your name?
Depart from me, I never knew you.”
'“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.’ ~James 2:14-17
Enough of your empathy. Where is your action? Your selflessness? Have you died to yourself yet, or do you somehow think you’ll maintain the best of both worlds, with one foot in each? Maybe you’ll keep all the best this life has to offer, spoiling rotten from the inside out, but still help out once a month at the soup kitchen, and still get your ticket Home?
He doesn’t need you. The rocks would stand up and praise Him.
You want to know what Haiti needs? How about you start with what they don't need. It's a much shorter list. Take your pick. How about this church, simply start. Start. That would be better than talking. It would certainly be better than saying you wish them well while you go out to the next barbecue and sip on iced-tea.
Get out of the sandbox and realize that there is a desert of need. Need of God’s Word, clean water, food, family, medicine, mosquito nets, sanitation, education, health care, doctors, you name it, and most importantly, a world in need of the hands and feet of HIS people, coming and living among them, giving up their cozy slice of heaven on earth to show them Jesus, and eternity, and paradise. They don’t need a hand out. They need a hand up. This world is wasting away, and there's too little time for meaningless empathy.