Tuesday, November 30, 2010

playstation and the human psyche

We spent Thanksgiving with our family in Tennessee. Throughout the week, my nine year old cousin sat in front of the tv, entranced by the war-related Playstation game he was playing. Although I made it clear that I'd prefer he play outside instead of (a little too realistically) murdering people, I could not convince him to step away. Instead, I sat with him and watched him play his game.
Though he generally ignored me, I intentionally drilled him with questions- if only to pretend we were bonding... and to see how much he really understood about what he was doing. At one point, our "conversation" went as follows:

me: why are you killing all of those people?
Logan: because they're evil!
me: how do you know they are evil?
Logan: because they're against me!

They're evil because they're against me. At first, it may sound extremely childish and silly, but after a moment of reflection, doesn't it sound a little too familiar? Whether it's an acquaintance with opposing political views or the ex-friend who made a selfish mistake.
Or Perhaps it runs deeper. Maybe it's the person on the other side of the world who has been labeled a terrorist because of what people with her skin tone did.

Thank you, Logan. Thank you for summarizing the tragedy of the human psyche so simply and eloquently.

They're evil because they're against me. That statement is painfully ignorant, and yet we continue living like we believe it. I think it's time to believe something else. Maybe something a little more positive... a little more truthful? Let's begin by loving each other more, despite what it costs us.

We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

Yep, my shirt is awesome. It's from www.heytee.org. Go there, buy stuff, and help rebuild Haiti one tee at a time!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


(I apologize for the fact that it has taken me so long to post this)

Well, I came back from Haiti a month and a half before my original scheduled return. Ultimately, we had to make the difficult decision to come back early because we felt as though our safety was at risk. It was not how I wanted or expected to end this adventure, but I trust in God’s good plan.

As for what it was like in Haiti, I believe these pictures speak for themselves. Keep in mind that the first, and largest, earthquake occurred on January 12th… more than 9 months before these pictures were taken.

This woman's foot was crushed during the earthquake and had to be amputated.

We distributed food and hygiene supplies to people still in tent cities. It is estimated that 1.3 million people are still living in make shift "tents" out of sheets and sticks.

This graffiti of a weeping Haiti is tagged all over the city.

Once again, I find myself trying to sort through feelings of guilt and sorrow for the people I have left behind while maintaining a thankfulness for my world here in America. How do you continue to live when so many die unnecessarily? How do I move on knowing what I’ve seen? More importantly, how do I help those who continue to suffer?

In the 1950’s a man named Everett Swanson was visiting a friend in Korea immediately after the Korean war. At the time, there were thousands and thousands of orphans left without parents or homes.

Everett Swanson saw children piled up in the doorways of homes, trying to stay warm. They were abused by the guards who tried to scatter them because they were a nuisance. Everett watched as a guard picked up a child by the wrist and ankles and threw them into the back of a truck.
He said to his friend, “No one, no matter how small, should be treated this way.” And he wept for the children.
His friend looked at him and said, “Now that you’ve seen, what will you do?”

Now that you’ve seen, what will you do?


Everett Swanson returned to the United States and started Compassion International. This organization is now reaching one million of the poorest children in 25 countries.

Now that I’ve seen, what will I do?

Honestly, I don’t know yet. And it kills me not to do something about it. I don’t know how to return to normal life here in America- and even more honestly, I don’t want to. And I don’t think I have to. I don’t want live comfortably here when so many live in misery there, so I won’t. (…by “there”, I don’t just mean Haiti, but all over the world where people are struggling to survive)

I don’t have a plan yet, but that doesn’t mean I have given up on the people. Sure, I could put something together haphazardly, but I’m waiting for God’s better plan- his more powerful, more divine, more excellent plan. In the meantime, please join me in prayer. For both them and us.

As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long- though I know not how to relate them all. I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord. I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone. Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. 
Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, until I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come. Psalm 71:14-18

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Help rebuild Haiti one tee at a time.