Thursday, January 14, 2010
I admit that I have seen very limited coverage of the Haiti tragedy. Until the last couple days, I had been on a hiatus from television, just focusing my attention on God and seeking His face without the distraction of the T.V. However, when I did catch a glimpse of the horror going on there, my heart broke and I was rendered speechless. Even praying for the people in my own understanding was difficult. What does one say, you know?
However, last night I was so deeply touched as one of the young men in my church prayed to God about the situation in Haiti. Frankie just began military academy a few months ago. He and his family have poured their hearts into Haiti. In fact, our church goes to Haiti on missions trips to help at the orphanage. One of those babies in the orphanage is Frankie's little brother. His parents have been going through the adoption procedures for years now, still expecting to bring the little guy home soon. They continue to go see him, he knows they're his parents, and they're all just waiting for the red tape to be cut so he can come home with his family in America. I thank God that little boy's life was spared.
During a time of prayer last night, Frankie went to the microphone and began to pray one of the most honest prayers I've ever heard. So often we think we need to impress God. So often we pretend we don't struggle at times with our faith. We think God doesn't know what's going on inside. We think God will be offended by our honest questions. It is not God who is offended by questions; it is man, in his lack of understanding, who gets offended. I believe God is always receptive to a sincere, broken spirit--and He already knows, so we might as well just be real with Him. Frankie began to tell God--just like one would talk to a friend--that He was confused, that He didn't understand the devastation, he didn't understand the why of it all. He then acknowledged that perhaps God was going to do something through it and asked God to help him see it. That was it. So honest. So real.
I was moved to tears. But I was moved to tears even more by what I saw at the end of service as we sang "Amazing Grace." At the end of the song, we began to sing the words "praise God, praise God, praise God, praise God..." to the tune of the rest of the song, as we often do at the conclusion of that great hymn. I glanced over at Frankie and zoned in on him. I watched as he sang, "praise God, praise God, praise God, praise God," and my heart was so grateful. Here's a young man just starting his life in this world in service to his country, grappling with a tragedy that not one of us can wrap our brains around and one that affects his family so deeply, asking God why--and in the midst of the pain, he still has the faith and strength to sing, "praise God." If that won't put things in perspective, nothing will. If that doesn't make you want to stretch your faith more, nothing does. And if that can't humble your heart, nothing can. I am reminded of Job 13:15, where he said, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust him."
Frankie's heartfelt cry to God and steadfast faith have challenged and blessed me.
God bless Frankie, and God bless Haiti.