Monday, January 25, 2010

Death - when it's close to home or far away

I think it's taken me several days to wrap my mind around the Haitian tragedy. I keep my television tuned to the current news and the faces haunt me when I lay in my warm bed each night. I can not fathom the loss, the extreme devastation and the pain these people have suffered and continue to suffer on a level I probably will never know. I hope I never have to.

Death. We lost a dear friend to it's grasp last week. He was a mentor to my husband, a grandfather to my oldest children and a model of the type Christian I hope to be someday. He was a selfless, precious soul, kindness and compassion oozed from his smile, his tender eyes, his work worn hands. At his funeral, while snow swirled and cold winter winds blew outside, we stood with the family and friends who mourned the passing of this great man of God. With Military honors for his service to our country, we watched the solemn process as the American flag was folded with great care and handed to the beautiful widow who loved him in life and will never forget him in death. As guns saluted him in honor, we wept for our loss, grateful that at that time he was already touching the face of God.

Then I see the funerals of fellow humans in Haiti, reeling from the harsh reality of the magnitude of deaths in their community, well over 200,000 lives snuffed out by an "act of God." An earthquake that has caused aftershocks in it's wake that create further terror as the ground continues to shake. Mothers crying over the deaths of children in the piles of rubble that they will never touch again, their cries snuffed out from their injuries and slow deaths. There are no honorable burials there, but people who have suffered much already, burying precious lives in unmarked graves, or mass burials where they pile hundreds of bodies into huge holes in the ground just to rid the immediate area of impending disease and decay.

It is a stark reminder to me that the death of our friend and the deaths in Haiti are so very different that they can not be compared to each other. However, the grieving here is planned and we are allowed time to process our grief through a compassionate service. The funerals in Haiti are performed quickly to aid in allowing rescuers to continue seeking lost and buried bodies, hoping against all odds that they may, possibly, find one more soul who is waiting for their hand to pull them from the rubble.

Has anyone else been sickened by the sad eyes of even more orphans left in a massive amount of destruction, needing basic necessities to exist one more day? For what? How many just pray for it all to end, or do they have small pieces of hope left in their hearts against the reality of their desperate situation?

As we continue to pray for the Ethiopian children who seem like a distant dream some days, I pray for the Haitian children and wish deeply that there was something more that I could do to ease their suffering. I pray that the 3 empty beds we have in our home can be filled, and the hearts of suffering, lonely children can be made whole again here.

Death is final. We all face it. It just hurts to see death come to children who are alone, scared and dying moment by moment. And there is nothing I can do to stop it.

Pray with me for the little orphan angels. Godspeed to the ones who are on their way home.

1 comment:

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