Tuesday, February 2, 2010


The earthquake that shook me to my core took place 1640 miles away on Tuesday, January 12, 2010. I thought I was safe. I thought I was immune. I have never been to Haiti, never witnessed its poverty; never suffered its heat; never felt its hunger for justice, peace and food—always for food. The son of Haitian immigrants, I was one of the lucky ones, born and bred in the US; privileged, spoiled really, fascinated by reality television: American Idol, The Biggest Loser, Real World, Apprentice, Top Chef, Project Runway; you name it I’ve seen it. My life is—well it was—far removed from Port-au-Prince or Gonaives or Petit Goave, and then the earthquake hit and everything changed.

I have never been as affected by anything that has happened in Haiti as this earthquake. I have never cried so many tears for people I never had a chance to meet. My heart has been wrenched open and I have been shaken. Shaken by the bloated corpses rotting in the streets of Port-au-Prince amidst the wounded, the homeless, the hungry. Shaken by the wailing of mothers for the children they will never see again. Shaken by the mass graves dug into the mountainsides filled with thousands, thousands of bodies of people who most likely struggled their entire lives until their unexpected end.

I have been shaken out of my apathy, shaken out of my comfort zone, shaken out of my very American tendency to consume and always want more: more clothes, more gadgets, more stuff I’ll only get bored with rather quickly and shortly replace with more stuff.  I have been shaken, indeed the world has been shaken by the earthquake that struck the tiny island where the poorest country in the western hemisphere sits. What would God have me do in a time like this??? Whatever God may ask me to do my answer will be “Yes!". Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow.

Following the Way,

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