With the continuing flow of news from Haiti it is easy to get calloused and not be as affected by the stories we hear. I’m there. Or I was. Then, a few days ago, I heard the story of a mother living in an area with no food, water, medical care or security. She has a 6 year old boy and felt she had to get him out for him to survive. She was able to put him on a bus to a town where he had relatives. The problem is that there was no way to tell them he was coming, to make sure someone would be there to meet him, much less provide for his safety on the trip. She made the difficult decision to put him on the bus, on his own, hoping he would survive, and we hear no more about him.
Even as I write this two days later I am fighting tears. I think of Jaden, my 6 year old grandson, and the terror he would experience if we did this with him. I think of the desperation of this mother, and the grief, guilt and pain she must be experiencing as she hopes he is safe. Then I thank the Lord that my kids, my grandkids, my wife, my friends don’t have to go through the horror we are witnessing from afar. I thank God Jaden isn’t on a bus to nowhere.
In the Great Recession, I live in one of the worst hit areas of the U.S. Estimates of unemployment in our area range from 12-15%. Many of my friends have lost their jobs or their businesses. Most of us have experienced “on paper” economic ruin as we watched our home values plunge into the “upside down” territory and keep sinking. But in all this, I can’t express how profoundly grateful I am for what I have. All it took was to have my attention riveted to what I have, rather than what I don’t.
I’m not going to say I won’t ever feel pressure, or depression, or wish things were different in the future. But when I do, I will come back and read this. I will remind myself of God’s grace (his provision of so much that I don’t deserve), and I will thank him.