Haiti through the Eyes of His Disciple

>> Thursday, January 14, 2010

I try not to be a divisive Christian, and I hope I don't come across as one now. I'll leave it to smart theologians and anyone else led by God to have an opinion on the whys of calamity or to discuss Pat Robertson, Obama, or CNN. But I'm an ordinary person. And if being "out of the ordinary" means I have to get in the mix of these things, then I'm content to be ordinary forever.

It is in my ordinary that I find Him extraordinary. Because as I spend time focusing on His way, His truth and His life, I don't have the passion to discuss why these things happen or the interest to debate the big flashy media disputes that follow as a result of people telling why these things happen. (And I'm NOT downing those who God leads to speak on these things...not my intent at all...so hear me, k?)

All of the above has led to the stirring comments and questions which have settled in my inbox and have left me unsettled in my spirit. What is my response to the earthquake in Haiti? What is my response to comments made by a well-known evangelist? What is my response to the responses in need of a response?

Though I have a great many opinions, and though I believe that everyone should speak what God has laid on their hearts to speak about such matters, the only response I feel led to give publicly is the one He has laid on my heart as His disciple privately.

I'm a disciple of Jesus Christ, cleverly disguised as a wife, mom, writer, speaker, auntie, sister, mentor and friend. And as His disciple first, I will choose to seek Him first. Whether it's natural disasters such as these, terrorist attacks, personal tragedies, economic crisis, or the neediness all around the world, I cannot spend my day's focus on whys.

"Why" doesn't matter to me as much as "Who" I can call on for answers and "What" He asks me to do in response. In order to look to the right "Who" and know the right "What," I must know "Where" to look: His Word.

When I do, I learn how Jesus responded to a crowd of lost and hurting people:
"Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages.
He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news,
and healed their diseased bodies,
healed their bruised and hurt lives.
When He looked out over the crowds,
His heart broke.
So confused and aimless they were,
like sheep with no shepherd.
'What a huge harvest!' He said to His disciples.
'How few workers!
On your knees and pray for harvest hands!'"
Matthew 9:35-50, The Message
"His heart broke."

When Jesus saw the lost, the hurting, the diseased, the bruised, the sick...His heart broke. As I look at a world in the same condition, shouldn't my heart break too? It should, and it does.

But unlike me, in response to the overwhelming needs in front of Him, Jesus didn't worry or spend time analyzing why all of this was in front of Him. He called His disciples to immediate action instead. "On your knees and pray for harvest hands!"

So I'll continue to pray. As I do, I'll be led to respond His way--with love in word and in deed--not to spend time worrying or wondering why. Out of Jesus' love and compassion for a lost world, this is what He asks of me.

It is what He asks from all of us who call ourselves His disciples.

Today, brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter what we are passionate about, no matter what spiritual gifts we have been given--no matter what title or label we wear in this world, whether prophet or pastor or politician or parent or phd--let us remember that we are first His Disciples.

May our responses to the earthquake in Haiti be those of prayer and surrender to the One who knows the whys. As a result, we may be asked to refrain from personal opinions and throw out words of comfort and loving Truth instead. We may be directed to pray more and speak less. We may be persuaded to step outside our comfort zones to open our mouths and share the gospel. We may be led by the Spirit to loosen the money clip or toss the toolbox in a big suitcase and go...or to do some other hard thing. Not so that we'll be seen as self-righteous do-gooders, but so that the world will experience Him.

Disciples, it's why we're here.
"Let me tell you why you are here.
You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out
the God-flavors of this earth.
If you lose your saltiness,
how will people taste godliness?"

"Here's another way to put it:
You're here to be light,
bringing out the God-colors in the world.
God is not a secret to be kept.
I'm putting you on a light stand.
Now that I've put you there on a hilltop,
on a light stand--shine!"

"Keep open house; be generous with your lives.
By opening up to others,
you'll prompt people to open up with God,
this generous Father in Heaven."
"You're blessed when you care.
At the moment of being 'care-full,'
you find yourselves cared for."

"You're blessed when you get your inside world--
your mind and heart--put right.
Then you can see God in the outside world."

"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate
instead of compete or fight.
That's when you discover who you really are,
and your place in God's family."

(All verses from Matthew 5 in the Message)


Shelly @ Life on the Wild Side January 14, 2010 at 12:24 PM  

Laura Lee, you said it so much better than I did today (although I tried). Thank you.

Debbie January 14, 2010 at 12:25 PM  

Laura Lee, I certainly don't understand the why's of things that happen either. I feel for the people of Haiti during their desperate time of need.

I went on a mission trip to Haiti back in 1980 when Baby Doc was in power. I can say that I felt the darkness there. There was much voodoo and things like that. But in the midst of that, there were wonderful Christian Haitians who loved the Lord. What a blessing they were.

Haiti is such a poor country. They will need lots of help and prayer.


Freddae' January 14, 2010 at 1:54 PM  

Christ is the greatest comforter of all! He suffers with us.

Thank you for your beautiful post.

Matthew St. John January 14, 2010 at 2:22 PM  

Laura . . . you are awesome. And right on. Thank you sooooo much for the clarity and the compassion and, well, the solid conviction to stay focused on what matters.

LauraLee Shaw January 14, 2010 at 5:46 PM  


I thought your post was PERFECT. Nice to know I have a kindred sister!

LauraLee Shaw January 14, 2010 at 5:47 PM  

Thanks for coming by, Debbie & Freddae. Praying with you.

Sharlyn Guthrie January 14, 2010 at 5:48 PM  

Wonderful words of wisdom that could only come from our Father.

LauraLee Shaw January 14, 2010 at 5:49 PM  

Matt, Your comments mean so much. Your post knocked it out of the park today. My fav post of the week! Thank you so much.

Here's the link if any other readers are interested:

LauraLee Shaw January 14, 2010 at 5:50 PM  

Yes, Sharlyn, I hope I reflected His wisdom today. I sure have been praying a lot about it! Thank you, my friend.

Peter Stone January 14, 2010 at 11:09 PM  

Hi Laura,
Thanks for sharing this article, and what I know is this:

Matthew 9:10-13
While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"
On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

This is a time for us to show mercy to Haiti, not to judge. (And who are we to judge anyway?) If Jesus came to show mercy and reach out to the lost and hurting, let's do it too.

LauraLee Shaw January 15, 2010 at 5:30 AM  

Amen, Peter! That's what I'm talkin' about, YES!

elaine @ peace for the journey January 15, 2010 at 9:25 AM  

Well, now that's something sister. Amen and amen. Getting on our knees and then, getting busy.

Sometimes we are called to a long silence. Words get in the way of our response. I've been guilty of writing and talking a few good ones and then running the opposite direction from their witness.

I want to be on the road with Jesus, doing what he does, following him as he goes. He's the only best thing I've got going on.

Today, I live with a few questions. One of them involves, yet again, another dear friend of mine dying with cancer. She's 38,wife and mother of two young sons, and has been told there is nothing more the dr.'s can do but to make her comfortable. She was diagnosed 4 months ago... She is a stunning, STUNNING, pillar of faith.

Her words to my husband this morning, through her tears she told him, "It won't be long until I see Him."

Apparently, unlike the rest of us who love her so very much, she's been on the road with Jesus this morning.

I'm trying to find my way there...

Now you know.


LauraLee Shaw January 15, 2010 at 1:31 PM  

Precious Elaine,
How my heart hurts for you to walk the road of suffering with your friend. I'll pray for you, and for her. Love you, sis, and I so appreciate your sharing.

Kathy C. January 16, 2010 at 6:50 AM  

Laura, thank you for that deeply personal and heartfelt post. As my husband and I discussed this situation the other day and I was heartbroken over the hurting and pain while we sit here feeling so helpless,my husband (always a forward thinker) reminded me that God will work good of even this. His plans are so vast, and so through this we can thank Him for what He has in store.

Heather of the EO January 17, 2010 at 5:59 AM  

Your thoughts and insight here are much appreciated. This was so well said. Thank you!

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