It just seems as though there is so much pain in the world right now. Haiti still hurts very deep down, and it has been stinging for two weeks now. And then, a horrible event happened in Shepherdstown yesterday, and it just doesn’t seem fair at all.

I don’t know if it is the process of growing up that makes you feel more finely tuned into the world around you, or if it really is that more bad stuff is happening these days.

I have faith, though, that there is goodness in this world. I truly believe that God is behind everything that happens, and maybe He didn’t do it for a reason, but he at least can give us some sort of optimism and hope that something good will come of it. I am just constantly blown away by the stories of the Haitians–who have lost EVERYTHING–who still have a smile on their face. They are possibly the strongest people on this earth, to have survived something such as this, and then survived the years of devastation previous to the Earthquake, and still keep moving. The old Haitian women are all so small and frail, with their history written into the deep-set wrinkles on their faces, and you just wonder what amazing things that they have seen, what horrible things they have seen, and how they are still here. I have given 90 year old Haitian great-grandmothers reading glasses, the first ones they’ve ever owned, and seen the joy light up in their eyes when they can see what they are sewing–“Esche we pre? We lwen?”

I think that there is plenty of temptation around to just give up, say there is no God, say that He is vengeful or doesn’t care, become nihilistic, etc. I think that it is really hard to look at the world where we live and have hope. But I strongly believe that unless we have that hope, we will implode. I’m not trying to give some sort of sermon, but I think I’ve learned that the best thing to do in order to simply get by is just to accept what has happened, do your best, and trust God.

There is this Jars of Clay song that makes me cry each and every time that I hear it. I think that it would be really easy to misinterpret this song as one of despair, or one of just misery. But I think that it is telling us that that hope is what will get us through.

“Oh My God”

Oh my God, look around this place
Your fingers reach around the bone
You set the break and set the tone
Flights of grace, and future falls
In present pain
All fools say, “Oh my God”

Oh my God, Why are we so afraid?
We make it worse when we don’t bleed
There is no cure for our disease
Turn a phrase, and rise again
Or fake your death and only tell your closest friend
Oh my God.

Oh my God, can I complain?
You take away my firm belief and graft my soul upon your grief
Weddings, boats and alibis
All drift away, and a mother cries

Liars and fools; sons and failures
Thieves will always say
Lost and found; ailing wanderers
Healers always say
Whores and angels; men with problems
Leavers always say
Broken hearted; separated
Orphans always say
War creators; racial haters
Preachers always say
Distant fathers; fallen warriors
Givers always say
Pilgrim saints; lonely widows
Users always say
Fearful mothers; watchful doubters
Saviors always say

Sometimes I cannot forgive
And these days, mercy cuts so deep
If the world was how it should be, maybe I could get some sleep
While I lay, I dream we’re better,
Scales were gone and faces light
When we wake, we hate our brother
We still move to hurt each other
Sometimes I can close my eyes,
And all the fear that keeps me silent falls below my heavy breathing,
What makes me so badly bent?
We all have a chance to murder
We all feel the need for wonder
We still want to be reminded that the pain is worth the plunder

Sometimes when I lose my grip, I wonder what to make of heaven
All the times I thought to reach up
All the times I had to give
Babies underneath their beds
Hospitals that cannot treat all the wounds that money causes,
All the comforts of cathedrals
All the cries of thirsty children – this is our inheritance
All the rage of watching mothers – this is our greatest offense

Oh my God
Oh my God
Oh my God