January 28, 2009
Dancing in the Dark
Along with the rest of the world, I've been watching the horrifying images from Haiti, night after night, network after network. Yes, it's hard to look away, flip the channel, or even go do a load of laundry. It’s hard for most of us to fathom that these folks, these babies, don't even have shoes - let alone a home, a blanket, a warm meal, or a promise of tomorrow.
But I am starting to notice a solid trend in the news reports of this catastrophic event. Almost every single member of the broadcast media, without exception, has mentioned the astonishing resilience of the Haitian people. One stating, near tears, that he climbed off the plane expecting to be hounded for a helping hand, bowled over by sorrow...and yet, was surprised to see that they were in fact, helping themselves. Another mentioning that after a four year old boy was rescued from his demolished home, where he’d been stuck under the wreckage for an entire week – he was asked how he felt. His reply, “I feel good.” Holy___ I don’t even remember the last time I said that!
I was intrigued.
The next segment showed a group of Haitians, post quake, young and old, dancing amongst the rubble, amidst the death, above their shattered world. They were bleeding, bruised, battered and broiling in the sun. They were tired, limping and hungry. And yes, they were dancing. In fact they were singing. They were laughing. They were clapping. They weren't anywhere near tears. And without their dust laden limbs or the stark images of destruction blazing in their background; without the tickertape below their feet, stating the latest insurmountable death toll, one might even have thought they were celebrating. Were they celebrating death?
No, they were celebrating Life.
Of course the Haitian people need our help. Of course they need food, supplies, medical experts and a structured plan to get back on their feet. But ….could it be, possibly, that we may just have needed something from them too? As we continue to offer our prayers and support; as we continue to look through the lenses – which presumably will be following this tragedy for quite some time - I urge you to try and see something more. Look beyond their pain – deeper than their despair – far beneath all of the destruction. Look for what I see. Look for what they see.
Look for their light.
I think it may be quite possible, to the Haitian people, this earthquake is less about the loss of life, and more about the love of life. They are saddened by their loss, but they are strengthened by it too. They are not giving up. They are not giving in. They are simply giving us, quite possibly, the most important message we may ever hear.
They are alive, and they feel good.
With Gratitude and Love,