Haiti shook, and months later, we still can’t shake Haiti.
We are split wide open at our epicentres — these human souls. Our internal Richter scale still registers high.
Nightly, our oldest daughter prays for a reprieve. Over and over again, her prayers are for the children — the ones with no underwear, the ones who eat mud pies and live in tent cities, and sleep in dirt, and are sickened by cholera.
And now, a battered country braces for an approaching tropical storm.
No, we can’t shake Haiti from our minds, nor do we wish to. We ask God to break out hearts for them, because healing comes from broken places.
I turn off the lights, lay on the quilt next to my daughter, who has a full stomach and so many shirts we can barely stuff them into drawers.
“Dear God,” she calls out again in shaky voice. She’s breaking, too. “I hope that you can hear us. Please, please, pleeeease be with the kids in Haiti.”
He hears us, I tell her.
And we whisper Amen, the word that means True. With our amens, we do more than offer a concluding word. In nighttime prayers, we are doing more than putting a period on the past. We are putting exclamation points on all of our tomorrows.
I gently shake her shoulder at 7:10 a.m. It’s the day we return to the Kids Against Hunger center to pack food — like we did last winter.
She’s still nestled in her quilted cocoon.
“Lydia?” I say. “Guess what we’re going to do today?”
“What?” she whispers, voice hoarse.
“We’re going to be the answer to your prayer,” I tell her.
Because this is how any one one of us can save a life, how any one of us can start to rescue a broken world, in Jesus’ name.
Sometimes, we really can be the answer to our own prayers. Not always, but sometimes.
Any of us can be doers of the Word, not just hearers. Any of us can be the exclamation point.
We can become a part of the miracle. (!!!!!!!!)
With five loaves and two fish, Jesus fed 5,000.
With 24 people, eight tubs full of rice, dehydrated vegetables and soy protein, we could be miracle-makers, too. In two hours, we packaged 4,536 meals.
Lydia marked the boxes this way, with promises and exclamation points:
Yes, He does. He really does!