Praise the Lord of Heaven who is sovereign of all. The earth moves in His presence.
The Lord is faithful even if His blessings come through pain, suffering, and loss.
I will stand in awe of His work and praise Him in the aftermath of pain. Tears and bloodshed abound in the aftermath of the earthquake. Yet love can be found.
Crowds of people with arms outspread are crying out for help. Food is as precious jewels in a time of despair. Hands reach out to charge the gate.
Hands bear down to dig the grave of a child crushed by the falling walls. Yet the cry to our Father is heard.
He, in turn, calls to us.
Father, I have a family that needs me here. Go. There are families that need you there.
Father, I have work to do here. Go. I have work for you there.
Father, what can I do as only one man? Do. I have at least one man you can help there.
Father, I have not the skill! Do. I AM your skill.
You were created to love and love is required. I created your heart and I will pluck the stone from it as you pluck the stones from the pathways of the fallen. I have given you love. Do not keep it. Go. Do. Love.
My heart is overwhelmed, Father. Everywhere I cast my eyes I see anguish and death. You have led me to the very gates of Hell. The heat burns my flesh and the sun draws droplets of sweat out of me like rats fleeing a sinking ship.
The smell of death. The smell of waste. The smell of burning rubbish. The combined smell which forever reminds me of this.
The dirt and the dust never leave the air and they never leave my skin.
The night is harsh. The night is hot. The creeping things bite. There is no sleep tonight.
Yet in this hell, heaven has a voice. The small hand grasps mine. The child smiles in my arms. Songs of praise and worship are carried up to You in the night, oh Lord.
I see Your love moves when the pain abounds. I see my brothers lifting arms in praise as their shoulders bow down under the weight of suffering. I have much to learn.
I watch You work, Father and I know I wasn’t brought here to help. You called me here to watch You help. You called me here to find a living faith. You called me here to show me what Your love can do. You called me here to know that charity is more than the giving of my wealth. Charity is going. Charity is doing. Charity is loving.
Praise You our Father for your love of the oppressed. Praise You, Father for the love the oppressed have for You. I praise You for the miracles my eyes behold as I stand here in fear and in awe. I praise You for the blisters on my hands. I praise You for the burns and bites on my skin. I praise You for the ache in my body and for the ache in my heart.
Not a minute passed when my heart did not long to leave this place and not a minute has passed when my heart did not long to stay. Father, you create a beautiful paradox of love and suffering.
I leave to find the luxury of a soft bed in a cool home as my brothers sleep on hot floors of stone and rubble.
The man grasps my hand as I leave. He repeats his name to me many times. Do not forget me.
I never will and my soft bed becomes as hard as stone. My full belly becomes a sickening sensation to me. My heart softens, at least for a season.
Your Love moves, Father. It goes. It does. And the earth quakes in fear at the sound of Your mighty voice.