Sunday, July 18, 2010


It rained most of the afternoon. I think it must be better for people in the tent cities when it rains in the afternoon than at night, because at least people can find shelter in front of a store or under a tarp. Imagine waking up in a puddle in the middle of the night when it's dark and you have nowhere to go to dry off.

Rain is difficult for many people in Haiti now, and yet the country needs rain to grow food to feed everyone, and to provide water for drinking and cooking and washing. It fills cisterns and cleans away the dust, and yet it causes suffering. It's hard to know how to think about this.

Back in March, Ben wrote this about rain:

I have a terrible struggle with the rain because I like it. I always have. I like cool rainy days in the fall, I like spring showers, I like thunderstorms in the summer. I like sipping tea and reading when it is raining during the day. I like falling asleep to the percussion of rain drops at night. In Dallas, that is fine. But here it means that I like something that is making another person's life hell.

I loved falling asleep to the rain last night. I listened to the sounds the rain was making on different objects and tried to figure out what it was hitting. There was the familiar flat slap it makes on concrete. The hollow metal sound of the rain on our tin roof and the very bass like tap-tap on the broad leaves of the trees outside. I really had a great night's sleep, but just before I dozed off I realized: while this Drum Suite was lulling me to sleep, it was the sound of a cold muddy night to anyone in a tent city.

It meant that the ground outside their tent would be muddy, which would get tracked into their tent no matter how careful they were. It meant that if their tent wasn't waterproof, they would be wet, and cold. I hate having taken the slightest pleasure in something that could be such a curse to someone else. I wondered this morning- what other things do I really like that are a curse to someone else?

Katie is always telling me about who is a terrible corporate offender, or why certain foods are unfair. I never paid attention because it wasn't tangible. I would roll my eyes, ignore what she said, or even try and argue against it. But this morning as I walked on Delmas 75, I realized that this was something too great to ignore. I believe it is part of God sanctifying me to have awareness and compassion for things I do that bring pain to others.

Before, those ideas did not have a smell, an image, or a sound. I don't know if I can feel the same any more.

Here's the rest of the post.

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