So looking forward to Thanksgiving, loving this hustle and bustle of holiday preparations (even though I’ll be working on Thursday!)…but my heart has been far away lately. I’ve been thinking of a place where food is scarce, clean water is a precious commodity, and people are bravely enduring yet another disaster. I want us to enjoy, to eat, to drink, be thankful–oh, yes, be thankful. But please, don’t forget.
I spoke to my uncle today, who just returned from Haiti. He says the crumbled buildings are lying in virtually the same places they landed in January. The tents cities aren’t getting any smaller. Cholera is spreading. He told me of the IV bags lined up at the clinic, waiting to be used.
It seems far away, but it’s not so far.
I just got mail yesterday from my dear friend Bernadel Clarime:
“Hello Kelly ! How are you doing ? How is your family doing ? Iam doing well, my family doing well too. From day to day the Cholera give us much problem a lot of villages has it, have more than 20100 people sick and then more than 1200 people dead. Please, I would like you still help Haiti, specially me and my family in your prayer. Iam happy to write you . Sinerely Bernadel”
It’s not so far.
I need to get back there. My heart is yearning to be there, to be working, to be crying, to be seeing, to be living life with eyes open alongside my brave friends in Haiti.
This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for grace, thankful for family, safety, healthcare, and peace. My heart is glad for these things…but somehow, the knowledge that these people are still living in disaster, now in fear of death, fear of illness in the water, in chaos, and bearing it bravely, as they have every other burden, every other disaster for the past several decades…this knowledge tempers my propensity to waste my time, to spend hours shopping, to whine over trivial discomforts. It makes me thankful for life. It makes me uncomfortable in a good way. It makes me remember.
Friends, happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy, be thankful…and please, don’t forget.
*(photo courtesy of Boston.com–follow the link for more difficult/raw/beautiful photographs of Haiti 10 months post-earthquake)
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