48 hours from now I will be enroute to Haiti to lend a hand and my heart in whatever way I can to relieve human suffering. What that will exactly look like for me remains to be scripted. But I will show up and see.
The past 48 hours have been a lesson to me in the human spirit. Oh there are times when we wonder where it went, but when something like this earthquake happens and we get absorbed by the stories and images in the newspapers and on TV, our gruff and guarded exteriors yield to emotion and proactivity. We ache, realizing (for a time, at least) that those we see suffering are more than just pixels and ink. They live and breathe and laugh and cry and make love, have kids, and bury their dead. They are our brothers and sisters, whose only "mistake" was that they were born there. Ours just that we are born here.
It is inspiring to me to watch the hibernating human spirit wake up now and again, roused by something that touches the heart. I witnessed it this past 24 hours, when I broke the news to my family, friends, colleagues, and patients that I would be returning to Haiti a bit earlier than previously planned. Money mysteriously showing up on my desk or pressed into my palm. Boxes of medical supplies and cases of water brought through the front door of my office. And the back door. Kind notes and hugs wishing me well and wishing they could go with. Hospitals and vendors donating useful equipment and supplies. Calls from newspapers and radio stations wanting a few moments. People I don't even know showing up to haul supplies and offer help.
If it's one thing I know, it is that deep inside all of us is the desire to matter. To make a difference. To acknowledge finally that, in fact, it's not all about me and to do something about it. The reason I know this is because there is not a day that goes by in my life that someone doesn't say to me that they would love it if they could help with what I do in Haiti in some way.
Here's where I am, personally.... For me, it's a matter of stewardship. Stewardship of the human resources that God is daily putting in front of me, this pent-up energy and desire for significance that people have. What am I to do with it? I feel accountable.
This blog is, for me, an experiment. A good experiment is interesting in that you don't know where it'll go, what the end result might be. That's why it's an experiment. Experiments are messy and sometimes dangerous. But we do not experiment for experiment's sake. The greater purpose is that good may come from it, that discovery would lead to something great. For me, the "something great" would be to learn how to harness... hmm, bad word... to unleash, to mobilize. To convert potential energy to kinetic.
As much as possible, I would like to make a daily post to this blog (hoping for internet access!), with whatever assortment of stories, pictures, and reflections I have as I journey to Haiti. Those who know me well tend to know I do wax spiritual and philosophical a lot, so I guess you'll just have to put up with that.
Pray that I will be effective in demonstrating love and compassion to the precious people of Haiti.