I allowed myself to go back to Haiti this morning. I threw an emotional breaker last week…amped out, freaked out, stressed out…whatever you want to call it. If you know me then you know I don’t do emotion very well, not even on a good day. So I pulled myself out of the apocalyptic (yeah, I think that’s the right word for it) destruction and pain before I got lost in it. Yeah, I would still check the headlines and rejoice when another person was pulled from the rubble alive but I wasn’t allowing myself to “go there” emotionally because I couldn’t process it.
Sitting here this morning, not feeling well, I went to the Compassion blog to catch up on what’s been happening and try to get my mind off of my illness. I read the latest updates from Dr. Scott Todd who’s leading a medical team in Haiti this week and was processing it just fine…and then I saw the video. I was completely taken aback by the emotion that burst forth out of me and over me. A profound sadness was upon me and tears came instantly. And then shame.
Two girls that had been trapped for hours under the rubble of their own home but were now being treated by our team, showed an incredible resolve. After receiving medical care how did they both respond when asked what they wanted to be when they grow up? Both answered “a doctor.” I realized that my heart wasn’t breaking for what they were experiencing – it was breaking for the courage that these two girls had shown. In the face of death and all the horror they had seen, they weren’t shrinking back from it – they wanted to face it and help others in need, the same way they had been helped. It made me proud to be part of a group that’s helping them (and children like them) and at the same time shameful that there’s not more of that in my own heart.
If I’ve learned anything from my 12 years at Compassion, it’s that you can’t out-give the poor. That’s what I want to learn from these two little girls. That’s what I want my kids to learn. We think we’re helping them…but really, they’re helping us.