As I sat in the Boston airport last week, waiting to board my flight, the TV above my head caught my attention. CNN was reporting the latest breaking news… a 7.0 earthquake in Port Au Prince, Haiti. The stories and the footage were devastating. 100,000 dead, thousands wounded, too many to count without homes, and the list goes on. Why did this happen, God? Where are You in this mess?
About five years ago, I found myself asking the same questions. On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina ripped through the cities of the Gulf Coast, namely the city near and dear to my heart, New Orleans, LA. I was born and raised in New Orleans and my whole family still lives there. Katrina changed everything for us. In the weeks and months after the storm thoughts and questions seemed to trail on for us. ‘Why did this happen? Where is God in this?’ Answers to those questions would eventually come.
I share this brief part of my life not simply to mention another natural disaster. I share this with you because the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was a journey of finding Godamidst the rubble for my family and me. I think the question we all ask when something like a hurricane or an earthquake happens is, “Why God?”
As hard as it is to accept sometimes, I had to realize that God allows things to happen in this world that we will never understand. Scripture reminds us constantly that, “God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, nor is God’s way our way” (Isaiah 55:8). I began to realize that perhaps ‘why’ was the wrong question. I needed to change my questions to ‘where’ and ‘how,’ that is: ‘God, where are you amidst the rubble? How do I become your hands and feet for those who need You?’ As my questions changed, I began finding answers.
So where is God in Haiti? I firmly believe that God is amidst the rubble in Haiti. God is in the man who cares for his wounded brother. God is in the woman who cares for children who have lost their parents. God is in the embrace of an innocent child. You see, God is actively caring for his people at this moment through those who are willing to be His hands and feet. Most of us will never have the opportunity to go to Haiti, but that does not mean that we can’t contribute. The people of Haiti need our prayers and sacrifices. At the beginning of each day, remember to pray for God’s grace and mercy to be with the people of Haiti. Perhaps think of something that you can do to sacrifice and offer up for them. Talk to your youth ministry or your friends at youth group and find a charity like CRS (Catholic Relief Services) that you can send donations, clothing, or supplies to. Allow God to move through you. Help the people of Haiti to find God amidst the rubble.