Urgent patience is our mode now. It’s been a completely chaotically normal first three days after a horrific disaster. Seismic indicators registered the event. Silence from Port au Prince, then trickling info, third hand. Then by Wednesday night voices were arising who’d seen it first hand. Total devastation. People in the streets immediately after the event, looking, calling desperately into the rubble. Most hearing no reply. Reports of the airport closed, then open, then choked with traffic, then closed again. Reports of the port filling with ships, of hastily prepared relief cargo slipping into the ocean on the way, of other ports suitable and not. A sporadic message or two began coming from this cell phone or that within Haiti, but mostly busy signals – all one metaphor for an infrastructure unequal to the challenge in the best of circumstances.
The theological loons began. “Haiti made a pact with the devil.” “Something in its past.” I’m sorry, but I have little time for prognosticating, would be “prophets” who can’t get the basics of the Christian faith right (justification, Baptism, Lord’s Supper, a-millennialism). This event is just as much a judgment upon the Christian community in America for largely ignoring the screaming need in our own hemisphere. In God’s economy it is most often the righteous who suffer, and the evil that “prosper.”
In any case, we now begin down the path of tending to our brothers and sisters in Christ in Haiti, and as they are even now and have been from the moment of the earthquake, caring for their neighbors, we will come along side and increase their capacity to do so. And midst all the weakness and pain, the strength of the Lord will be made perfect in weakness.
Pastor Matt Harrison is Executive Director of LCMS World Relief and Human Care.