When you go to Haiti your heart is broken, and you don't come back with all of the pieces. It was ten years ago this June. I stepped off the rickety plane into the blinding sun, my senses burned by the grassy-burnt marshmellow smell of the city. I lifted my hand to block the sun and glanced around at my new surroundings. I had been nervous - up until this moment. My stomach questioned the flight - up until this moment. Now, with tiny hands groping and grabbing my arm for attention as I made my way to the Land Cruiser we would use as transportation, I smiled. I had never felt more at peace. That was the instant I fell in love with Haiti.
Ten years is too long to go without pieces of your heart. I realize this as I sit and read the stories coming out from the rubble. I try to ignore my heart grieving, but I can't dismiss the groans felt deep within my soul.
But despite the tears, I know there's Hope. I trust Hope to come rising through the ashes, making a way for these people who have been forgotten for so long. Shining a light on their suffering - easing the pain of their burdens. Despite the fear, I know there's Peace. I trust Peace to come and pick up the broken pieces of millions of hearts and make them right again. Healing hurts crusty with age - restoring ashes into beauty.
I pray for Hope and Peace today. I pray that in the midst of this tragedy, people would not see the devastation, but the eyes of those devastated. They would not pay attention to the amount of economic impact, but those who have gone without for so long. My Jesus brings truth and love when we least expect it, and I'm praying for extra doses today as we begin to learn the full extent of what's happened.
And I'll wait and pray and pray some more. I'll set my heart down on its knees as I make my way through today and let it grieve for its missing pieces. Today more than any other day, I am content with waiting. Because I know I'll be back. One day.
You can only go so long with missing pieces.
EDIT: if you are still wondering what you could do to help, I have a solution. I have some friends who are selling t-shirts and 100% of the proceeds will go to disaster relief. Go here and order your shirt today.