Saturday, January 23, 2010


Not sure how to start this post... so much in my head and on my heart with regards to the situation in Haiti. I can't do one thing throughout the day without the pictures of devastation flooding my mind.

I think of the dark, sad eyes of rubble-covered, filthy orphans when I wipe my baby's face.

I scrape the extra food off of her highchair and think of their hunger.

I cringe at a paper cut and then remember their wounds. Their pain.

I climb into my comfortable bed and pray for them to be able to sleep, somehow, under the stars.

I long for a moment of peace in the midst of a chaotic house of six, and think of those who long to have their loved ones back.

I get overwhelmed with the clutter of toys, while they yearn for the basic necessities of life.

I'm taken back to 1995, when I stood in that very city. When life was much simpler and mercy seemed to come more quickly for me. My mind wasn't cluttered with the things of this world as much. At least not that week of Spring Break, when I got to witness for the first time what life - and poverty - was like outside of my small college world.

While I was working my tail off to avoid taking out student loans, people were starving to death.

A good friend named Tyler Daugherty was on that trip too. We sat on the steps outside our apartment building together each night, listening to the Voodoo chants of the neighboring village. We sat in pure darkness; no electricity since the generators had already shut down for the night. He would play guitar. We would sing a little, then pray a little. And wonder how a place - a people - that was so lost, could ever find God.

And now, all these years and an earthquake later, I'm thankful that it's God who does the finding.

My kids are asking questions. And I don't have all the answers. So we go to His Word, and we find hope. From Psalm 46:

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging..."

"...Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

Not that this crisis is about me, but God is doing a work in me because of it. He is answering my prayers and my pleading for His Word to come alive to me in a fresh, new way. I want to long for it like I did on those Haitian steps almost fifteen years ago. Overwhelmed with grief and the guilt of my selfishness, I sat on my bathroom floor last week during nap time with tears streaming down my face, soaking up the Psalms as I read them aloud. God met me there. And His Word did come alive.

It had been too long.

I sat a few nights ago on my bed, grabbed hands and formed a circle with my husband and three boys, and one by one, we lifted up the people of Haiti to the One who is our "ever-present help." There hasn't been a sweeter night since. These boys continue to pray - even Chase - who asks God to please help "her (Haiti) to feel better."

I watched today as Jack and Trey raided their Ziploc bags full of lost-teeth-and-birthday-money. They marked separate tithe envelopes "for Haiti," and stuffed their money in - in a most unorganized way. Later tonight we sat and looked at pictures of Haiti online, and Jack, convicted and full of compassion, brought down another dollar. Their $19 dollars seems so trite, but for the work it is doing in their hearts, priceless.

I don't want to forget all of this a week from now. When I've had little sleep and my patience is not what it should be. I want to be changed.

Don't you?

He changes lives. The very God who created the universe. Who even allowed a massive earthquake to fulfill His plan and purpose.

He'll meet you where you are. Even if it's a bathroom floor.

If you'll let Him.


Danielle said...

Amazing. I pray every night for the people of Haiti, and that God will guide all of us to help however we can.

erin said...

God has given you a beautiful gift Whitney...expressing His truth in such a real and tender way <3 I too want to be "changed" For HIS glory!

panana said...

If I had been given a choice, I'd have picked someone like you for my mother. Thanks for being the mother you are to my grandchildren.
I too have felt incapable of helping toward such a huge Haiti need. Your words have filled me with hope for those people, and inspiration to continue in prayer for their suffering.

Jason and Sarah said...

You are such a Godly wife, mother, woman, friend..thank you for giving me something to work towards. God has surely blessed you with his truth.

Jason and Sarah said...

You are such a Godly woman, wife, mother, friend...God has surely blessed you with his presence. Thank you for giving me something to word towards.

Megan said...

What beautiful words Whit! You have such a gift for writing in a passionate way that moves so many!

Patricia said...

You do have a gift Whitney; I was touched and moved, especially because I've had some of the same thoughts about Haiti. I too see that complaining, selfish person rise up in my warm, comfortable home and wonder, "shouldn't that self-centered thing be gone by now?" And you, I want to be changed continually and refreshed by the presence of His Spirit. I do believe there are some in Haiti who feel wonderfully cradled by His presence during this devastating time.