Friday, January 29, 2010

Earthquakes, Part II

Earthquakes.

We continue to see the devastation the earthquake and its aftershocks have caused in Haiti. My heart is still hurting, and as I said, it is simply not enough. Even now, when I pull up news web pages—the earthquake is old news.

Earlier this week, I read about a 31 year old man who was rescued after two weeks under the rubble. Alive because he had access to water.

The human body is resilient and tough. It can be pushed to incredible depths and lengths and still survive.

As you continue to read, please understand that the physical and emotional suffering in Haiti continues to break my heart. I am still in the middle of deciding what I need to do to help. What can I do that will truly benefit the Haitian people? What can I do to come to their aid and truly make a difference?

I can open my eyes.

Earthquakes are the result of major shifts in the earth’s geological structures.

Earthquakes do not just occur in the geological realm of this world.

I have always thought of our emotional, mental, and spiritual lives in terms of geology. Our inner terrain. This idea came from someone else, and I can’t remember who, but this makes sense to me.

On a daily basis I am quite sure I come in contact with someone who is experiencing or is about to experience an earthquake.

And there is a great chance I am missing the signs.

We often ignore the signs of an earthquake in others and in ourselves. (Just like we ignore the gentle tug at our hearts when we see the images from Haiti) We try to avoid the responsibility we will assume if we acknowledge the potential danger. Our mercy is curbed by our fear of getting too deeply involved. We are concerned of the danger we might experience. We are wary of the power of association.

Sometimes we don’t see the signs because the person has become incredibly adept at camouflaging their pain and circumstances. They don’t want us to see the cracks and fissures in their spiritual and emotional terrain. But if we look into our brothers’ and sisters’ faces, if we peer long enough and deep enough, we can see the fault lines. We can detect the unstable ground.

Who and where?

The lovely couple at church who seems to have it all together. Great kids. Great house. Great jobs. But their marriage is sitting on a fault line. The foundation is cracked and the gap is ever-widening.

The young adult who is weary of the peer pressure. He is tired of trying to make right choices. All his friends are drinking. A lot. This young man is so frustrated. In his attempt to do what is right there doesn’t seem to be much reward. Why continue to walk such a hard road?

The minister who knows that the relationship is not appropriate. It has crossed acceptable lines, but he is weary from the fight. And he is about to let his guard down.

The little boy who is constantly bullied at school. Being teased and ridiculed. He becomes like a timid dog backed into a corner. But in his attempts to fight back he just gains more ridicule.

The young girl who has been told she is too fat or too skinny. She is weary of being told she is simply not beautiful enough to have value. She is exhausted from the attempts to try and meet the standards and so she resorts to things she can control: her eating habits and cutting.

The middle-aged wife who has a husband who doesn’t seem to see or hear her anymore. She feels invisible. And someone pays her a compliment and her heart reawakens, but in the wrong direction.

The beautiful young woman who is told she has cancer. She has a family. An incredible career. An encouraging, faithful husband. And she loves Jesus.

The family who is living from paycheck to paycheck. Scraping to just barely get by. And the last paycheck has been issued. They have been laid off.

The once-thriving business is about to end. There is not enough clientele to keep the doors open. The owners now face bankruptcy or lose everything.

Earthquakes.

And after the earthquake there are usually multiple aftershocks, and they often leave their victims paralyzed.

Incapacitated in some way—handicapped.

We need to see that the Body is often severely wounded. It is hurting and suffering.

Sometimes it will break our hearts. But that will simply not be enough.

We must decide what we can do to help. What can we do that will truly benefit these earthquake victims? What can we do to come to their aid and truly make a difference?

We need to open our eyes.

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