As the recent devastation in Haiti flashes across our screens in vivid high-definition, I hear many whispering under their breath, “Where is God? If He is so loving, how could He let this happen? Why do so many have to suffer? God, the children! Jesus, where is Your compassion?” Others are so numb and desensitized to the constant march of blood and violence in the media, they rationalize it away or pretend they have all the answers to somehow make themselves feel better.
The truth is, when disaster strikes, the answers are irrelevant. The solution is love. And love, or charity as some prefer, takes action. Charity doesn’t search for answers or try to rationalize suffering. It rushes to the rescue.
The day after the earthquake, Bill O’Reilly had no trouble sizing up the situation on his January 13th Talking Points spot entitled “Haiti, liberalism and America.” Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush co-wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times. Musicians from every genre and style banded together seemingly overnight to record and play benefit concerts. Pat Robertson stirred up a firestorm with his comments, and the responses were even stronger. I found the responses from Don Miller and the Star Tribune in Minneapolis particularly worth a read. Photographers on the ground in Haiti captured every moment. Countries all over the world weighed in and sent their support. The earthquake became something more.
It became an opportunity to love. To be the hands and feet of Jesus when He healed the sick.
Charity cannot exist in a vacuum. It does not exist outside of people overflowing into the lives of other people. God doesn’t promise us safety from earthly disasters, but He does expect His body of believers to be God to those around them. To comfort the sick, feed the hungry, and shelter the needy. Where is God in Haiti? He is serving through compassionate hearts in every capacity every minute. He is the helping hand bandaging the bruised. He is charity in Haiti.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,”
— Matthew 25:35 (NIV)