Friday, May 28, 2010

Skeptical or Cynical?

a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual.

a person who believes that only selfishness motivates human actions and who disbelieves in or minimizes selfless acts or disinterested points of view.

I listened to the Haiti "This American Life" and nodded at the familiar stories of how complicated solving a problem in Haiti can be. I agreed with some segments, while other segments made me think hard. Some of it was difficult to hear. Some of it was refreshingly honest. It left me questioning if I am cynical or skeptical.

Overall I realize that I am not impressed by big money or influence - I don't think big money or influential people all fancy and sitting around a business table will change a thing for Haiti. I cringe a little bit each time I read about a meeting and someone in attendance is referred to as "influential." It may be my over-developed sense of justice, but I have very little time for "influence".

Show me a person who will love and serve with humility. Show me a person that is more interested in touching and loving one dirty, angry, hurting person than she is in building her credentials or receiving a pat on the back or a fancy title. To me, that is influence.

Living in such a complex place where truth is hard to discern could turn Mary Poppins into a cynic. I don't want to be cynical.

Staying focused on doing small things with great love is the singular way to remain sane.


The place is frustrating and difficult and for every problem you might begin to understand and possibly even solve, another will be uncovered, and another only this time deeper. I don't think any one person, country, injustice, or government is to blame. That is too simple. You don't end up with complex problems due to simple causes.

All the buzz words and cliche answers, even though true in theory, won't easily be applied. Not by Haitians and not by foreigners. Sustainability. Yep. Great plan. Infrastructure. Uh-huh, who is not for that? Democracy. Please let it be!

I don't think there is a man-made formula for fixing it. I don't think any government will fix it. I don't think any NGO or combination of NGOs will fix it. I don't think man will fix it. Only God can make that place whole.

We can pray. We can give in obedience when our hearts tell us to give. We can become informed donors. We can advocate for the voiceless. We can respond to what He is asking us to do. And after all that it might still be what it is today.

Then we can pray more.

Only God can make that place whole.

Until that happens, small things with great love.