Sunday, January 31, 2010
Heard they are reviving the USA for Africa song "We Are The World" written by Michael Jackson in order to raise money for Haiti. It is fitting.
But as I look at the lyrics, lyrics that seemed so perfect to me as a young adult, and that are still beautiful today, they just aren't able to fill the enormity of the loss this time around.
"There comes a time....when the world must come together as one.'
"Love is all we need."
"And their lives will be stronger and free."
Tell that to the woman my friend Laurie met in the rubble of Port-au-Prince this week, the one who comes back to where her home used to stand in the hopes that God will return to her just one of her family members who died in the quake. She lost her husband, all four children, her sister and three cousins.
All four children.
And she not only still believes in God, she's still talking to him.
How are lyrics going to make this woman whole again?
How is bread going to make her want to live?
We owe Haiti international relief, long-term development and a sustainable economy. We owe it to them, and we owe it to ourselves, because Michael does have the right idea.
"There's a choice we're making. We're saving our own lives."
But what can anyone do for someone who really HAS lost everything? Does sitting here at the computer ignoring my own four children help? A new home? Electricity and a sewer system? Educational opportunities and a chance for economic advancement? Port-au-Prince as a sustainable, renewable energy-based, ecologically sound role model city of the future. Pretty words and promises.
Makes us feel pretty good about ourselves too, doesn't it?
But I cannot imagine anything that will ever, ever, EVER, make up for this one woman's loss.
In Laurie's own words, "All I could do was hold her and let her cry."