A second earthquake has hit Haiti. 6.1. As if they needed more.
After writing my first Haiti post and engaging in several on and off-line conversations and reading what many others had to say, especially this post on Losing My Religion: Rethinking Church, recommended by one of my commenters I decided to propose a “what if’…” Let’s just say this prayer by Boukman Dutty:
“The God who created the sun which gives us light, who rouses the waves and rules the storm, though hidden in the clouds, He watches us. He sees all that the white man does. The God of the white man inspires him with crime, but our God calls upon us to do good works. Our God who is good to us orders us to revenge our wrongs. He will direct our arms and aid us. Throw away the symbol of the God of the whites who has so often caused us to weep, and listen to the voice of liberty, which speaks in the hearts of us all.”
and the celebration which accompanied it way back when was a compact with the devil. Does not the prayer itself suggest that the witness of God shown to the Haitians by those who would enslave them was so twisted it was unrecognizable as being for a God of love and mercy? Does the subsequent 100 years of indebtedness to the same “Christian” nation followed by 75 years of indebtedness to America, another “Christian” nation, do anything to untwist the ugliness of that witness? Perhaps Haiti is so steeped in darkness because those who would “shine the light” have tried to do so from under a bushel.
We call ourselves Christians. We take pride in the fact that our nation was founded on Christian principles. But are we recognizable to the rest of the world? Our nation is wealthier than any other nation. The Church in America is the richest in the world. Yet less than 5 percent of what our collection plates gather up ever leaves the building.
Is it any wonder that countries like Haiti look else where for answers? Officially, Haiti is a “Christian” nation just like the United States–80 percent is Catholic and 20 percent is protestant. The fact that so many fear and/or practice voodoo should be a wake-up call to the Church. But instead we seem to use it as an excuse to keep doing what we are doing and justify the hording of our blessings.
Personally, I have a long way to go. Know that I am preaching to the choir when I say–if we, as Christians, are not consciously living so as to avoid supporting things like: slave labor, the raping of other nations’ resources, and the oppression of women and children, then we are culpable. While it makes little sense and no difference to wring our hands over those events on the other side of the world that we can do nothing to change, we have no excuse to remain ignorant about what we can do.
The products we buy, the organizations we support, the corporations in which we invest, and the attitudes we promote matter. Do not be afraid to find out what in your life bares a false witness for the God you love. Change does not happen over night, unless you happen to be Saul on the road to Damascus and God shines a really bright light in your eyes. Even then he was blind for three days and truth be told it was only the beginning of a changed life. Change happens one open mind, one readied heart, one poured into life, one baby step (and a whole lot of hanging on to furniture and falling on our backsides) at a time.