I just watched an ABC News segment on Haiti.
Update - here is a link to the segment.
A bilingual reporter flew in with an aide organization and then toured several neighborhoods and talked to Haitians who are sleeping out in the streets because their homes have been destroyed.
The neighborhood was very quiet despite the masses of people…no babies crying or people moaning, no angry shouts or desperate pleas. And the people that the reporter spoke with had a look in their eyes…shock and pain and fear…and something else – hope.
As the segment came to an end, the reporter having spoken to several people with injuries who were unable to find medical care, a spontaneous worship broke out…women raised their arms to the sky and swayed to a rhythm that comes from within.
Back and forth, they shifted their weight together and sang a song of praise.
Even those who were unable to stand joined in…the camera capturing it all as the segment ended and the reporter noted that people who have lost everything have not lost their faith.
And I couldn’t help but note the difference between faith in practice…between the kind of faith that has a broken body lift hands and sing…and resume faith, where the prosperity gospel translates into making money as a television preacher by speaking words of hate and judgment in the name of God.
When there is a disaster both kinds of faith are present.
I saw the same after Hurricane Katrina or the Tsunami – so many people living their values by giving of themselves and some others indulging in public displays of ig’nance so poorly timed and lacking in compassion or decency that they literally took my breathe away.
The Haitian people are strong…they have endured despite oppression, tyranny, poverty and corruption.
And many Haitians are people of faith…some of that was captured in the segment that aired this morning, which showed Haitians using their faith to soothe and comfort as they sat surrounded by devastation and want.
Voices blending and bodies swaying, faces marked with blood and covered in dust, arms raised high with palms facing up.
Faithful and empowered through it…
…rather than vengeful and seeking power with it.
I stand in awe of the first.
As for the other…well, God don’t like ugly.