The Image of God
Feb 15, 2010 by Dave Condit | 0 Comments
I’m not sure I truly grasp God’s power. The things He has set in motion are tremendous and even worthy of fear. The earthquake in Haiti brings this to the forefront of my thoughts. It is difficult to view some of the events from the past month and not question and not question our perspective.
After the devastating earthquake in Haiti, I got a late night call from the Air Force Reserve asking me to go help. I left the next morning to try and do what I could. My job was to help with transferring refugees to Florida on military cargo aircraft. I spent several days in Haiti and then ended up in the Miami area where we unloaded one planeload after another of people displaced and injured. After the transfer was complete, we would load the planes with relief supplies for the return trip.
My heart was broken for the kids who would come off their first airplane ride, see nothing but unfamiliar faces, and hear from people who did not speak their language or even look like them. I cannot imagine the pain of losing parents, friends, family, home and country. At times, I wanted to just run off and hide like a child who could duck under the bedcovers to make the boogey man disappear. I managed to stay and was surprised by a family who came off one of the flights in the late afternoon.
A Haitian family had arrived among many others, and I was helping them get to a bus that would take them to a temporary shelter and processing center. I must have looked stricken by the situation because the mother took hold of my arm and asked me if I was okay. Was I okay? This woman had just lost her house, her husband and her mother. She had three children, no money, and everything she owned fit into one suitcase. I couldn’t even answer. She looked me right in the eyes with a warm smile and asked again in her heavy Creole accent, “Are you okay honey?” Stunned by the role reversal, I just nodded.
I followed her onto the bus and rode to the gymnasium where she would meet with the Red Cross representatives, medical personnel and US Customs. She never stopped talking to her kids about how fortunate they were. “The bus has air conditioning and such comfortable seats.” “The grass here is nicely cut.” “The streets are so clean.” “There are cots for everyone in the gym.” “The people are friendly.” “God is so good.”
I stayed with her kids while she went through the normal process. The kids didn’t speak much English, but playing is universal. Once she was done, I said goodbye to the woman and that I would pray God would bring comfort. Her response was, “Oh honey, that’s what He’s doing right now.” I kept thinking of the exchange that night. I could not help but feel a little that her words were meant for me and my comfort. How amazing that a woman in that situation would care for me!
Her eyes, smile and voice reflected love of Christ. Here was a woman who had lost so much. I had lost nothing but was moping around like God didn’t even exist. She seemed to trust completely that God was in total control of her destiny regardless of the road traveled. I went back to the gym the next morning, but she and her kids were gone. There were another 250 new people who had arrived during the night.
This woman’s attitude echoes God’s spirit and word. I have a hard time looking at the situation in Haiti and understanding where God is in all this. I also feel selfish and out of touch when I see someone like this woman who can walk through her situation with an eternal perspective. Her faith was on her face as she reflected God’s image. The Scriptures tell us that we are made in God’s image; “…in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen 1:27b, NAU). Sometimes I forget about this, but a woman from Haiti reminded me. While I’m not one to gravitate toward supernatural experiences, I’m pretty sure I met Jesus at an airfield near Miami.
I’m back in Colorado now. I missed the first week of classes for the semester, but the school and professors were very gracious. I was a very small piece of a very big effort. So many people are working to help, but the need goes well beyond what is even possible right now. Keep praying and giving because the situation is still very desperate. However, also know that God is present and active and caring directly for his children even as the world wonders where He is.