Life and Death

Happy Sunday morning. Aren’t Sundays the best? I’m baking up a batch of banana chocolate chip oatmeal in the oven, the house is quiet and I’ve got nowhere to be for an hour and 45 minutes. The unhurried mornings are one of my favourite parts of a good weekend. The rest of the day may be packed (and it is!) but the morning is all mine. We’ve got a frisbee game, lunch with Matt’s parents, groceries to buy and church to attend (oh, and laundry to fold = the WORST).

On Friday night I have two quiet hours to myself  after work while Matt was volunteering and I was beyond happy to do a little tidying around the house and then REST. We pack so much into our lives and are hardly ever home in the evenings that it was nice to have a few hours to do nothing. I had to get a cavity filled Friday morning and my mouth was still hurting quite a bit so some tylenol and quiet time was perfect.

I am a news junkie- I love the paper and I listen to CBC a lot. A lot. So, when the earthquake in Haiti happened I knew about it right away. But as the week progressed and the story graced the cover of every newspaper and was the lead story on every radio news, I couldn’t help but feel a bit numb. I mean, I was sad for the people and for the tragedy, but I just felt like my emotions were dulled. It was really weird. It got me thinking back to the Tsunami 5 years ago and I realized that I also felt really numb to that as well (although I think for entirely different reasons as there was a lot of personal tragedy and death in my own life around that time that didn’t leave me with a lot of extra feelings). In hopes of “curing” my numbness, I turned to CNN, who I KNEW would be covering the Haiti story with around-the-clock-sensationalism.

I was right.

It  only took about 3 minutes of watching CNN to begin to understand and well, see, how horrible the situation in Haiti is. And of course knowing that Haiti is the poorest country in the hemisphere and boasts the highest rate of HIV anywhere outside of Africa made the devastation even more devastating.

Stories of kids who were found alive and then later died, mass graves, people’s cries for help and amputations while victims were awake hit me pretty hard.


Part of me felt a bit lighter thinking about how all across the world people were donated money, clothes, blankets…there was no delay. People have been generous. Yet a tiny, pessimistic part of me wonders why does it take a natural disaster to start helping? what about a week ago when Haiti was simply a country with an 80% poverty rate?

I felt a bit overwhelmed at the woes of life afterwards. I’ve been praying for this little girl and just feeling like there’s a lot of awful sh*t that happens to people. It was heavy.

Later Friday night, Matt and I rented the Hurt Locker- a movie about U.S. soldiers in Iraq that defuse bombs and about the addiction to the “rush”. Intense.  So gripping. It was a really great movie (and it was directed by a woman!!)–see it for sure if you like suspense movies.  But it added to the overall heaviness of the day…and my sore tooth definitely didn’t help (although it made me extra grateful that I have access to medical and dental care).

And then, I woke up Saturday morning, still feeling a bit down. But then, I came across a video of a wedding- it the wedding of a photographer from California, who is probably quite rich. The wedding was beautiful. But what really struck me was the words of the Officiant, the love, the beauty and how life and death are always inextricably intertwined. You can’t pick just one. And in some strange way, watching the video of that wedding- and the hope and promise that emerges when two people pledge to choose each other above all else, reminded me that even in darkness, there is hope and light. You just need to look for it. And one thing that I believe with all my heart is that while God does not cause horrible tragedies, He always has a way to make beauty out of something terribly ugly. That’s what grace is. Like U2 says, “Grace makes beauty out of ugly things”.


One thought on “Life and Death

  1. love this line…
    why does it take a natural disaster to start helping? what about a week ago when Haiti was simply a country with an 80% poverty rate?
    this is what I have been wrestling with the most.. and guilty of the most…
    sadness… frustration… disappointment… in the world, but mostly with myself.
    thanks for your perspective and thoughts…
    as always…

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