Why do we only care about the poor and poverty stricken in times of catastrophic disaster? For the poor and poverty stricken each day is a disaster. It’s a disaster when the can’t afford food or shelter. It’s a disaster when they are beaten and broken. It’s a disaster every day.
We have this tendency to give in abundance when media is plagued with coverage of horrific events; but once the coverage has ceased, such events fall out of our consciousness.
Now that the terrible events in Haiti are two weeks past, coverage is getting less and less frequent. Soon we will forget all about Haiti and we will return to a world in which, for all intents and purposes, Haiti no longer exists. It reminds me of something I recently read on The Onion.
Less than two weeks after converging upon the site of a devastating magnitude 7.0 earthquake, American anthropologists have confirmed the discovery of a small, poverty-stricken island nation, known to its inhabitants as “Haiti.”
We didn’t acknowledge it’s existence before so why should we continue to care a few weeks from now?
If you’re a Christian, like I am, you are probably aware that we are called to look out for these people. It’s what Jesus modeled in his ministry and it’s what he instructed us to do in following him. He even went as far as telling us that whatever we do for the least, we do for him (my paraphrase).
So the question is, what do we do? What do we do to look out for the least? What do we do to keep Haiti, and the-like on the forefront of our minds?
Here’s a suggestion. We should regularly support local and world humanitarian efforts. We should do so with our time and money, in times of catastrophic disaster, and times of every day disaster. There are always people who need help. And there are always ways to give… even if you aren’t wealthy.