In Haiti, I couldn’t help but notice that there was pain and suffering and misery everywhere I looked. Naked children roamed the streets. Beggars stretched out their hands saying “Grangou,” which means “hungry” in Creole hoping for something in return. Houses were half built and in poor conditions. The stench in some places was unbearable. The sidewalk or a tree somehow had become the local restroom. The sweet river waters were replaced with a bitter brown smelly liquid and were almost dried.
As I look back and reflect on all that I had seen during my time in Haiti and all that I have learned about the country since I came back, I can’t help but think of Jesus. He surely must have felt the same way. If my heart broke with sadness and compassion for these foreign people of a different race, a different place, and a different world than mine, how do you think Jesus felt among us?
There was misery all around Him too. Hearts were broken. Disease held some in seclusion. Hunger and misery surrounded Him. Hands extended begging for a piece of bread, a piece of healing, a piece of hope, a piece of love. Sin had caused complete destruction and the whole creation had become a stench. What He saw is not what He created. Yet, there He stood. Complete perfection and holiness, in the midst of an ocean of sorrow and pain and suffering, the Great I AM looked around and something about what He saw and experienced broke His heart. Poverty broke His heart. Unbelief broke His heart. Pride broke His heart. And eventually sin broke His heart.
To me Haiti is just a small taste, a tiny speck smaller than bacteria, of what Jesus felt when He came and lived among us—poor, wretched, lost, confused, prideful, sinful, unloving, unkind people—in an unending sea of pain. In Haiti there is a proverb that the locals use that says, “Beyond mountains there are mountains”. The way they see it, there is only one problem after the other and it never ends.
Could it be that that’s how Jesus felt when He saw the state of His creation? And could it be that the love that He had for these people and the compassion He felt and the desire to break the power and bondage that kept us captive in our misery was the reason He gave up of Himself? And could it be that He is calling you and me to do the same?—Maria
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.