[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=earthquake&iid=7731634″ src=”http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/7731634/house-damaged-earthquake/house-damaged-earthquake.jpg?size=500&imageId=7731634″ width=”337″ height=”507″ /]According to Haiti Quake Caused by Previously Unknown Fault, New Data Show, January’s devastating earthquake in Haiti was caused by an unknown fault. Until recently, the earthquake was blamed on the Enriquillo fault. Now scientists agree they’ve discovered this new Haitian nemesis. Hidden and powerful it remained out of sight til its big earth-shattering, death-dealing debut. Experts also wonder: is it part of something bigger? Is it part of a previously unknown fault system?
Reflecting, I wonder…does hidden sin behave the same way? Is it submerged and covered up, not readily visible? Does it build in pressure until it pops and wreaks havoc? Could it be connected to a whole system of sin? When the buried beast rumbles, do we not see the source but instead blame faults already revealed– faults we’re comfortable with or that are socially acceptable?
I understand that it is better to have many small earthquakes than one big one. Small earthquakes relieve pressure and make a large, devastating earthquake less likely. Can this understanding spill into our spirituality? Can we assert it is better to surface sinful thoughts–small quakes–before they grow into full-blown “devastate others” acts? Aren’t we wise to nip sin in the bud by confessing our sinful thoughts and repenting of them, before they turn into destructive deeds?
We think we control our hidden, dark subterranean chambers, the “insignificant” ones we allow that no one knows about. Yet shadows deepen, pressure increases. Unless confessed and repented of, tension builds–the chambers morph and take on sharp edges, they begin to shift and assert themselves. We can no longer keep them ‘down there’. They surge to the surface, shake foundations, crash safe places, create chaos. Souls left standing are handed horror…
As others rush in to bring comfort, survival skills and healing hands, the terrorized must choose, rebuild or move? They must decide what is in the best interest of the ones they love. A choice with serious consequences, a choice that affects many, no matter what is chosen. Like the Haitian people, they must decide whether living on this fault line is worth the risk.
Hopefully Haitians are seeking God for direction, for whether to stay or move to safer ground. Hopefully He is also sought for direction by those who live in the nightmare of a sin induced quake. Best yet, hopefully He is sought by those whose sin took over and shattered lives, by those who brought horror home.
Few of us can relate to the plight of the Haitians–at best, most of us are observers. We sit in our comfy air-conditioned homes and read the headlines. Maybe we even send a check now and then. Yet, as followers of Jesus, we move mightily in the spiritual realm through prayer, there is much we can give…
On the eve of the seven month anniversary of Haiti’s earthquake, the community of Taize invites us to pray:
God our hope, send your compassion upon all those who are undergoing the great trial. When we are taken aback by the incomprehensible suffering of the innocent, enable us to be witnesses to the Gospel by our lives and to make the comfort of your Holy Spirit accessible to all. *
About to post, I realize…this prayer is also fitting for those spinning from sin’s impact. Do you know someone like this? Is it you? I pray it again for those I know who are left standing, horror in hand…
*copyright © Ateliers et Presses de Taizé, 71250 Taizé, France. Permission granted to reprint. Entire prayer for August 12, 2010 is posted at: http://www.taize.fr/en_article10941.html