Dredging up compassion for the suffering and desperate

This is a guest post that I wrote that was posted today on the Haiti Awake blog.  You can read it there using this link.  http://www.haitiawake.org/news/2016/11/21/dredging-up-compassion-for-the-suffering-and-desperate or, because I want to make things easier for you, you can read it below! 

I’m sitting in a big comfy desk chair staring at my oversized computer screen.  Looking back at me is Haitian woman and her child whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew.  My home consists of carpet, tastefully painted walls, and a solid roof to keep us protected.  Her home is no longer a home, but a thrown together shanty made of broken sheets of iron.

I look at the rubble and trash and rocky ground around her home and I just can’t understand as my home is surrounded by a pristine carpet of St. Augustine grass.  I see her shoeless feet standing on the concrete slab and I think of my recently painted purple toe nails.  But then I notice in the picture her one year old son standing in the makeshift doorway of her dwelling.  He’s naked.  And I think, “Where is his diaper?”  My western mind hasn’t connected that a shoeless, nearly homeless woman would not be able to buy diapers.  Wow.


I continue to stare at her but honestly, I struggle to have compassion for her.  I continue staring at the computer screen waiting for compassion to erupt from some deep place in my heart.  But it doesn’t.  I wait, and still, nothing.  It’ difficult for me to dredge up empathy for this poor woman because I cannot relate to her situation. I cannot comprehend her desperation.  I have shoes, a home, and children that are dressed head to toe.

I continue to read about this desperate mother, Moline, and her family.  She has three children.  She sells fish at the nearby beach.  Her husband is a fisherman.   And then I read a sentence that does produce a reaction in my heart:

“We could not help her and her family…”

And I am cut to the heart.  Because, you see, while my heart may struggle with compassion and empathy to relate to a woman I will never know, God’s Holy Spirit lives in me.  God knows this shoeless woman that I will never know.  He sees her ramshakle dwelling and her diaperless child.  He hears the hidden wailings of her heart that I will never hear.  He cares for Moline oh so much.

And God sees me.  God knows that I have the means to help this woman.  He knows that recently one of my monthly bills was eliminated and I have some extra room in my budget. And God knows that when He speaks to me about this money, I will listen.  Although I often resist and question, I will eventually obey.  Jesus, after all, is my example.  God hears the silent prayer of my heart, my surrender, “Not my will, O God, but yours be done.”

My heart is moved to action and these extra funds in my budget will now be sent every month to Haiti Awake, a ministry on the ground in Haiti that helps real families like Moline and her diaperless child.  I know that my US dollars will make a sizeable different for families in Haiti.  And even though I still may not understand or comprehend their plight, I will make a difference.

I will touch Haiti – not with my hands and feet – but with my heart.  God’s heart.

What about you?  Is God speaking to your heart to be a monthly supporter of Haiti Awake?   They need monthly support they can depend on, which allows them to plan, to grow, and to follow where the Lord is leading.  Whether you can share $10, $25, $50 or more, God will use it to care for the Molines and families like hers in Haiti.  Please prayerfully consider giving to this ministry.  You can donate online using the link below:


or to becoming a monthly supporter, contact Haiti Awake at rick@haitiawake.org.



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