(Tents act as makeshift shelters. Photo by the United Nations Development Program.)
The grandmother with a face covered in dust and a voice strained from crying. The girl with braids and a dress who lies covered in rubble. The stunned people running through the streets, looking for help but finding no one. The father who, in one moment, lost all 4 of his kids and his wife. The parents still searching and praying for their lost children.
It's been hard to stop thinking about Haiti. The heartache and suffering are so immense that it seems as though it can't be true. Each loss is a tragedy, and combined they form a situation that is incomprehensible. If any good can come of this, perhaps it is that people in America and other developed countries might recognize the need to strengthen places like Haiti before disaster strikes. Once the emergency teams are gone and the situation stabilizes, the need will still remain.
I am reminded of the lines from Hotel Rwanda, when some men film the genocide in hopes that those on the outside will be moved to act:
"How could they not intervene when they witness such atrocities?"
"I think if people see this footage they'll say, 'Oh my God, that's horrible,' and then go on eating their dinners."
Please, let us allow ourselves to be affected by Haiti and the DR Congo, Burma and Afghanistan. These are our people, our brothers and sisters, who are in pain. Their hearts beat like ours and their pain feels like ours. They need our attention and prayers, even after the camera crews are gone.