An open letter to God, re: Haiti
WARNING: Objectionable photos below the cut. Viewer discretion is advised.
I know I’m supposed to pray in a private place with the door shut and stuff but I hope you won’t excuse me writing this and making it public. I think some people feel the same way I do. I can’t officially speak for them but I know I’m not alone when I ask you the following:
Do you hate the Haitian people?
No, I mean, seriously? Like, do you hate them? Did Satan make a deal with you that he’d pick this one country in the Western Hemisphere and beat it down and allow all others to look comfortable in comparison? Is Pat Robertson right? Did you curse this country because some idiot slaves wanted to be free from French rule?
I am conflicted, Lord. I was born in New York. I am a first-born American. Yet, Haitian blood flows through my veins. I am more related to a country that was reigned by terror and plagued with fear than a country that gave people of my skin color the right to attend any school of their choosing only 45 years ago. I have never known the fear of Papa Doc and Baby Doc but then again, I have never known the fear of the Ku Klux Klan or other white supremacy organizations. I feel straddled between two countries.
I have never been to Haiti. Out of concern for my safety and protection, my mother and father would never take me there. “It’s not the country it used to be,” they lament.
Lord, were there ever glory days in Haiti? What was it like when my parents were growing up? They speak of it fondly as though those were the good ol’ days. But you allowed my grandfather to be gunned down in cold blood during those good ol’ days. Political strife was still present even back then.
Even though I have never been to Haiti, it is a country my parents grew up in. I am first-generation. I guess I don’t need to tell you that; you ordained it. As a result, when I see the images of bodies strewn everywhere, buried under rubble, piled up on one another–I am cut to the quick.
For the first time, I saw a tragedy and I cried. I looked at pictures of bodies piled up everywhere. Some naked bodies, hands with blood, limbs covered in concrete dust, and I thought, “God, you hate Haitian people. You really do.”
Mudslides, hurricanes, flooding, and now this.
A 7.3-magnitude earthquake that devastated Haiti–and Haiti alone. Sure, the Dominican Republic–that shares the same ISLAND–felt something but they’ve got no damage to show for it. And Cuba? Well, Cuba experienced a small shake but nothing that made them really afraid. Nope, God, YOU chose Haiti.
The political strife, those stupid Macoutes–sure, it’s easy to attribute that to man’s sin, man’s doing. Sure, I can buy that.
But then all these natural disasters… constantly… and I wonder if you’re just out to wipe Haiti off the face of the earth.
I mean, if you want to do it, just DO IT. You’ve reduced Port-au-Prince, my mother’s hometown, to nothing but RUBBLE.
Tens of thousands to maybe even HUNDREDS of thousands could lie dead under rubble, God.
Okay, I’ll be honest here. I know I have no right to challenge you. I know the verses from Romans 9:
O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
The created shouldn’t challenge the creator. I’ve read Job; I understand that. But God, I can’t look at these pictures and think that you’re a loving and just God. This is the time when I’m supposed to believe your ways are higher than mine and I should just trust and believe your word. But God, those people, had value. Did you simply create them to toss them to the side? What was the purpose of this? What GOOD can come of this, Lord? These were LIVES. Those people might have relatives in this country frantically searching for them.
Dear God, did they not have value to you? Did you not care for them? Did you decide to simply put many of them out of their misery for whatever reason? Were they even miserable?
I cried for them, God. Someone’s got to. They couldn’t even die with dignity. They aren’t buried with dignity. Many of them will not be buried with dignity. They’ll probably be thrown into mass graves. Some of them serve as roadblocks and barriers. These are no longer names and faces; they are bodies and statistical numbers that feed into a body count.
And I know it’s not over. You’re not done with the Haitian people. I mean that in the most pessimistic way possible. You send all sorts of natural disasters. That’s NOT under man’s control–that’s under YOUR control. Why Haiti, Lord? Pour kisa Ayiti, bon Dieu?
Forgive me for being insolent, for challenging you, for being so direct. But my heart bleeds for those who can no longer bleed. The situation looks dire and even now, politics are being played with people’s lives. I’m angry and upset. You could have prevented this. You’re supposed to be a just and loving God. How is this just? How is this loving? How is this fair?
I admit, I feel more outrage than I ever have because I consider these people to be a people I also belong to. Many blacks in this country call themselves African American. Well, I’m a smart ass–I’m Haitian American before I’m ever African American. Haitians are composed of African, French, and Taino Native Indian blood which means I’m not solely African.
So I cry, I hurt, and I grieve for these nameless and faceless people who are considered nothing more than corpses now.
I have no answers, Lord. Just the same question:
Why? Pourquoi? Why?
Forgive me in Jesus’s name for being bold Your majesty,
(photos from boston.com)