I can't even count the times I have been brought to tears over the last 9 days. It is not the number of dead in Haiti that brings me to tears because I think my mind cannot even process that astounding level of loss. The numbers are too high for me and then I think of all of the family and friends affected by each one, each and every one and ...
... well, my mind shuts down and it just doesn't have the capability to process it.
It is the stories and images of survival that get me. It is the resilience of the human body and spirit that overwhelm me.
First, it was this sweet young American girl who was interviewed on the Today show, just a few days after the quake. She had been teaching there. Her foot was crushed and had to be amputated. When Matt Lauer asked her how the amputation would affect her life, she said it was not an issue, that she was happy to be alive and that she just wanted life for her friends in Haiti. Her smile was so sweet and it was the absolute selflessness and joy in her that brought me and Matt Lauer to tears.
Then, there was the man who was in the process of being rescued and a CNN reporter handed him a microphone as he was pinned under a building while his face was visible. He held the microphone in one hand while his other hand was crushed under the rubble. The reporter asked him- What are you saying to yourself as you wait? He replied something like- To myself? Nothing. I am saying Jesus, my life is in your hands. I am talking to God.
One of the most astounding was a woman who was under the rubble for five days, alone. Then someone heard her voice, they found her and dug her out. She came out SINGING praises to God. Really singing!!!! Joyfully!! I can imagine wanting to sing with joy, but I just found it unbelievable because she had been alone, without water or food for that long and she came out singing- and loudly at that. What a spirit of thankfulness and joy!
On Tuesday, a five year old boy named Morley was rescued out of the rubble of his house by his uncle, who found him after trying to dig out the body of his brother. Now, he has his brother's son, who at five years of age, was able to survive alone for 8 days.
Eight days! Can you even fathom that? I cannot even imagine being stuck like that for 20 minutes, let alone- hours, days and nights passing, nobody coming, not hearing the voice of your mother or father, not knowing what has happened, not knowing if anyone will ever come.
And he lived.
As did a 25 year old woman who was pulled from the ruins of a supermarket, a 70 year old woman who sang as she left the Port au Prince Cathedral, a 23 day old baby girl. That is a three week old baby surviving on her own. How is that possible?
With God all things are possible.
And then there is this sweet 11 year old girl whose image shows that survival comes at some cost. But, she is alive and so as I look on her, I pray for perfect healing of her body, mind and spirit and that she would walk with great purpose in her life, knowing she was spared.
May there be more lives spared today.
May their voices be heard today.
May there be more rays of hope for these very broken, but resilient people.
photo courtesy of CNN.com