Posted by: njs44 | January 15, 2010

Geography lessons

The news from Haiti is grim. My mind finds it hard to grasp and after reading horrific accounts of the devastation, the loss of life, the difficulty of obtaining help I turned to another article which explains in terms of Geography, why so much seems stacked against Haiti, by comparison with its neighbours. Jared Diamond has written a clear and comprehensible account of some of the reasons why this disaster is compounded by other factors. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/15/forces-working-against-haiti

Our humanity demands that we do something. Appeals have been set up by all the major agencies. Even deciding which to donate to is a challenge, although some alternatives are considered here http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/15/haiti-earthquake-charitable-aid-donations

Perhaps my feelings of helplessness are comforted by reading the facts, as presented by Guardian reporters. Maybe I think that if I read enough about it, I will understand the situation and thus have some control over it. As I struggle to know what my response should be, I am reminded of other times when I have felt helpless in the face of suffering. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians suggests we should

Use only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you. (Ephesians 4:29)

This still does not help me know what to say, for how can I provide what is needed, how can I do good merely with helpful words?

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