Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Southern Way (Haiti)

I was brought up to believe that you don't discuss your acts of charity in public. As an adult, I've continued to practice this and I've taught it to the boys as well. It is the Southern way. It is also the Biblical way.

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, Matt 6:3 

However in the interest of spreading the word, I will say this much.  Convoy of Hope has my financial support with respect to helping the Haitians in this time of terrible need. Note that they not only need funds, they are also looking for organizations to put together Hygiene Kits as well as volunteers.  So if you don't feel inclined to donate money, consider the more tangible choice.

Also, while I'm not necessarily a fan of Sanjay Gupta (nothing against him, just nothing for him either) I am completely impressed with staying behind with sick patients when the Belgians left. I don't know that I can pass judgement on their decision to leave for the night; Gary has pointed out that they would do no good at all if they were killed in the threatened violence. But I can pass judgement on the decision to take all the medical supplies with them, leaving a hospital full of patients and the remaining staff with next to nothing to work with.  It infuriated me. Whose purposes was that supposed to serve?   

I've cried a little over this during the last few days, as I'm sure most of you have too. The media's images of the dead bodies in the streets, being scooped up by front end loaders and poured like refuse into dump trucks, are stark and relentless, dragging us closer to the tragedy in spite of ourselves. There is no hiding from this, short of turning off the television, radio, and disconnecting the internet.  So we might as well face it. Haiti happened. Their plight is ours.

But this scene was by far the most personal for me. Again it was Sanjay Gupta doing what he was doing in part for the cameras, but in part to draw attention to the plight of the small ones in situations like this. As he held that newborn in his arms, he held every newborn I've ever known; my own, my sister's, my friends'. Made worse by the fact that the child's mother was killed and this is now an orphan, it was an intense reminder that this child could be any baby anywhere under the right circumstances. Thus it had the desired effect. I was  manipulated into caring deeply.  If you aren't already--and I believe my regular readers to all be just as soft hearted as I am so this is for the passerby who might still be running from the reality (there is no resting place here), I hope you are after you see this.


Scotty said...

If someone were to tell you that bodies were being picked up in front-end loaders, you'd have trouble believing them, wouldn't you? Those images, as you say, Mary, are a stark reminder of how lucky we are in some parts of the world.

Debby said...

I watched a BBC special tonight which shows a mass grave, which shows people walking around spraying down the dead bodies to reduce the fly problem until pickup, bodies being burnt in huge piles. Heart breaking. It truly breaks your heart. Now they are talking about 200,000 dead. 3 million people without homes. The numbers are absolutely staggering.