Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Suffering I See

I stop in at International Aid every so often, to see if they can help me with equipment or supplies or whatever.  Every time I go in there the first thing I see is this beautiful wall decor (I guess that's what you call it) on the wall behind the reception desk.  It's a simple yet beautiful depiction of sick and hurting people on their way to get help.  It reminds me so much of Haiti.  I can't tell you how many times this simple wall silhouette has taken on the dimensions of color and movement and smell.  Not to mention the awful sounds of suffering.

I am frustrated when I try to describe the suffering I see. I try hard, but when I'm done with my description, I walk away feeling like I've left people with a silhouette, some wall-decor-ish, stick-figure rendition of what it's really like. It's hard to depict mourning and tears on a stick figure drawing.

Part of me wants to be discrete and unoffensive to those who read this stuff.  I don't want to appear exploitive or voyeuristic even. I don't want to be Geraldo, some first-on-the-scene, report-it-and-boogie-to-the-next-story journalist.

On the other hand, I must journal-it.  Haiti's story needs to be told, and if, in hearing and seeing Haiti's story of mourning and suffering, people are squeamish, oh well.

A little mourning sickness might just get our attention.


PS  I would love to find out where we could find this wall decor to put up in our guesthouse.  If anyone knows how to go about finding it, let me know.


Scott DeVries said...


Have you asked anyone at the Int. Aid office were you might get this decor? It looks like it might be a vinyl graphic that you "stick" on the wall.

Steve said...

Thanks, Scott. It is made of metal rods bent into the the various shapes and it just hangs on the wall. And I did ask them but no one there could remember where they got it.

Lisa Jourden said...

Thank you for what you share about Haiti. I'm going on my very first mission trip at the end of March (and first time out of the country), to the God's Littlest Angels orphanage in the mountains above Port-au-Prince. I'm excited and scared. I'm very grateful for the picture you've painted, it is helping me to be prepared, but I know the reality will be beyond what I can imagine or understand.

Steve said...

Thanks, Lisa. Have a great trip. It will change your life.