I have been in denial. It's just been too much for me to take in. I've heard the news. I just can't believe it's true. I've seen some of the photos. But I just couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe that there could be something so horrific, and to such an impoverished nation.
One of the stories I heard the other day was of how groups of people were gathering in the streets to pray...to ask God for help, but also to give thanks (to give thanks!). This story is what began to shake me out of my stupor. I really wonder if my faith would be strong enough to bring me through something like that.
Then tonight I read of a young man in his twenties, named Wismond Exantus, who was retrieved from the rubble after 11 days (11 days!). He was working in a grocery store located in a hotel when the quake hit; he dove under a desk and survived.
I tried to think of my past eleven days (and nights) and the stressful period I'm going through right now (mostly self-imposed), and then I thought how trivial it all is compared to this. I have it made; I feel selfish and self-centered.
Though he was in a small space Mr. Exantus was able to reach a few cans of soda, beer, and cookies for nutrition. "I was hungry, but every night I thought about the revelation that I would survive," Exantus said from his hospital bed (source)...every night I thought about the revelation that I would survive, let me print it again, every night I thought about the revelation that I would survive. For eleven days and nights he thought this.
When I read this quote I wept. I can't imagine that I would have the strength of this young man. And as I lay down to bed tonight, in a soft warm bed with a full belly, I can only hope and pray that there are no more suffering and alone under the rubble. If so, Lord, please be with them.
Brothers and sisters of Haiti, please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.