I wasn’t awakened by my Blackberry’s chime this morning, but rather by the gentle cry of my six month old. Five AM found me standing in our master bathroom holding Piper as the vent fan droned overhead. For reasons we cannot explain, the sound relaxes her when nothing else will. If iTunes offered a sixty minute mp3 of a bathroom fan, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.
There I was, hostage in my own bathroom. My feet were a little cold because of the tile floor and my arms were growing tired because Little Bug is not the featherlight that she was when she was born. I really could have used some more sleep – it had been a late night and I have a lot to do today.
It was in amidst this predawn whine that reality came for a visit, when I remembered that 2200 miles to the southeast, another father was was standing in the dark, consoling his six month old. He loved his child too. He was arguably far more exhausted than I was. He had no bathroom fan to help him because the house had no bathroom, and what was left of the house was now just a knee high pile of rubble.
I could look for help in a while. Kelsey could be called on, of course. If we needed to get ready for our day, my mom lives in a studio apartment that is a part of our house and is more than happy to play with Piper.
The other man has looked for help, but so far, he’s found none. He’s a little perplexed at how dozens of tv crews have managed to find their way to Haiti, but so few workers. The modern world can beam this father’s photo to a satellite thousands of miles overhead and back down to a guy having a bagel in Kansas City, but the technology to move a piece of concrete off the dead body of his wife seems to be unavailable.
My day will be busy. Emails, meetings, writing and prayer.
He will spend his day trying to do what I will do in the next five minutes – accessing fresh water and something to eat…except he has no guarantees of success.
Minus abject poverty and an earthquake, are we really this different?
We both love our children.
We both want to live peaceable lives.
How two people with so much in common can have such different existences is simply beyond my comprehension. I don’t know exactly how it got this way – and those of you seeking to teach a quick history lesson in the comment section can save it for another day.
All I know is on a different day, it could be me standing in the rubble, it could be Piper crying in the dark, both of us wondering when help would come.
Go to www.criout.org now to help send a team of emergency responders to Haiti. The exploratory team of six leaves today, followed by a rotation of people who have been trained to do search and rescue. The leadership of this organization are personal friends of ours and we know many of the first responders. This is money well invested.
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