Archive for January, 2010
>We in America tend to find our identity outside of community … in ourselves, jobs and possessions. But for the people of Haiti and numerous other countries, their community is their identity. This disaster is not, for the Haitians, just a destruction of life and stuff. For the living, it is a disorienting loss of national identity.
Pat Robertson tried to make sense of this utter disorientation for the Haitian people by blaming it on a supposed “pact with the devil” that they made some 200 years ago. Mind you, Robertson didn’t say, “God is punishing Haiti for their pact with the devil,” but he was implying it. I have friends who know Pat and they speak highly of his generosity and warmth, but come on, Pat, which Jesus are you following?
It’s important that I make some distinctions — boring and reductionistic as they may be — between Christendom, Christianity and Jesus. Christendom is the melding of Church and State. Christianity represents the doctrines of the Christian religion; and Jesus, well, he’s not too interested in shaking hands with the State, nor is he interested in doctrines per se … but he’s very interested in us. I make that distinction to say this: I’m a follower of Jesus, not Christendom or even Christianity. I love Jesus and love people. And, if I didn’t know the historical and risen Jesus, the Pat Robertsons of the world would probably make me reject everything associated with Jesus.
How does a follower of Jesus make sense of this disorientation in Haiti? We don’t ask, “What would Jesus do?” … no, the follower is asking, “What is Jesus doing?” The answer to this question is real for the believer who believes that Jesus is alive and active, crying with those who cry, holding those who need held, redeeming what is lost, feeding those who are starving, and standing for righteousness during a time when great abuses can occur.
Honestly, few of us are suited to be doing what Jesus is doing in Haiti right now. I don’t have a medical degree, I’m not trained in disaster management or police enforcement, but I know people who, whether they are believers or not, are doing Jesus’ work in Haiti, and I’m going to support them, pray for them and pray that they and the Haitian survivors, and not Pat Robertson, is what people focus on talking about during this time of immense need.