SHINE: Activating Spirit — Finding God’s Light in the Darkness

SHINE! … By the Spirit™ with Tonya M. Evans

Finding God’s Light in the Darkness

© 2010 Tonya M. Evans

January 18, 2010

I remember the moment I lost it. The moment when I finally allowed my mind to comprehend the incomprehensible devastation and loss and need emerging out of the ashes of Haiti after that country was decimated by a 7.0 earthquake last Tuesday at 5 PM. It was the moment I saw the video of CNN Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta rushing to the assistance of a 15-day old baby whose house had collapsed around her, killing her mother. Her uncle was begging for help. And as God would have it (as opposed to fate), Dr. Gupta was in the area and responded to the call.

Before the eyes of the world, Dr. Gupta switched from reporter to world renowned doctor and looked with deep compassion and concern and love into the eyes of the newborn and cared for her needs, as if she were his very own child. He calmed her as he checked for skull fractures and then cleaned and re-dressed her wounds with a producer at his side. That was the stuff miracles are made of.

I uttered what can only be described as a guttural moan that contained the only words that would come … “oh … GOD!” The words sprang forth in a voice I did not recognize and I knew it was my heart speaking and not my head. And it dulled in comparison to the waling going on in the streets of Port-Au-Prince.

And then I cried. I cried for the dead, for the injured, for the trapped, for the loved ones who did not know whether their family and friends were alive or dead, for the rescuers and aid organizations, and for the leaders – including the country’s own president who himself was also homeless, and for all humankind. And I cried for myself. I felt helpless and hopeless and hypocritical because I, the SHINE contributor who encourages everyone else to SHINE in every circumstance, felt my light dimming just a bit. And I wondered if my individual voice could make a difference in the face of hell on earth.

I, like countless others, observed horrifying images and video of limbs sticking out from pancaked buildings and rubble, rescue efforts — some successful and providing glimmers of hope – many more that came up empty or didn’t come at all, and thousands of bodies lining the streets and being irreverently bulldozed into mass graves, never to be identified or buried honorably.

From the comfort of abundance I reached for my cell phone to text $5 or $10 increments for the cause and combed the Internet for other ways to get involved because it was all I could do. And I wept. The world wept. From ordinary citizens to politicians, clergy, military, and seasoned reporters like CNN’s Campbell Brown who broke down on camera after learning the fate of a young girl who did not survive her injuries, our lights were fading in the midst of chaos with seemingly no end or solution in sight.

And then I was reminded that my light, our light was not created by us but by the awesome God who created us. Because of this it is the Creator’s strength on which we must rely in this and in all times. And I was lead to the following scripture:

“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” — 2 Corinthians 4:7 New Living Translation

Forgive us our fragility, our humanness. May the ever-present Light of God shine through even and especially amidst the illusion of darkness on this earth. May God bless Haiti. May God bless the world. And may we always remember that light casts out all darkness as long as we will it to SHINE.

Please share your comments below and let us continue to pray for Haiti and to be the light we wish to see in this world.

[About SHINE … By the Spirit™]


3 Responses

  1. Tonya – well said. Amen. — Uva C. Coles

  2. Amen!!!

  3. Tonya…

    Thank you for having the courage to share your tears in writing. i have been too shell shocked.

    i pendulum between feeling angry helplessness and empowered in silence.

    The fact that so many people all over the world, despite their financial and personal situations, are doing and have done whatever they can (even if it is to have a moment of silence or a night of tears) restores my faith that we are so so so much stronger and compassionate than we realize.

    Observing the maddeningly slow process of delivering expired food on the ground and the government red tape slowing the work of NGOs despite the aid money pouring in, I am convinced that the time of individual enterprise is now. This is going to be a defining decade in many ways.

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