I heard a new favorite song through new ears this morning. While waiting for the car to warm up and defrost, I skimmed my Twitter account and saw this tweet from Switchfoot lead singer Jon Foreman: "Red eyes... Pray for Haiti."
"Red Eyes" is a wonderful song on Switchfoot's most recent album, Hello Hurricane. I've listened to it 20 times and it has always struck me as a profoundly personal song, a song quite literally about healing and living through the aftermath of life's storms. It wasn't until I read that tweet this morning that I heard it as perhaps an anthem and summation of the sorrow of an entire nation and a world surrounding it.
Like the rest of you, I've been transfixed by the news of the earthquake that has devastated the small island nation of Haiti. I'd like to tell you I've been a responsible world citizen and have glued myself to the television, watching every media report calculating the damage and response but I haven't. A picture may be worth 1,000 words but I have a feeling 1,000 words may well be millions shy of conveying the totality of the suffering. Maybe something is wrong with the size and shape of my head and heart. I guess I feel a lot like Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption; I'm not sure if it's that I can't imagine or if I just don't want to.
How can we look upon a disaster of this magnitude and feel anything but powerlessness and hopelessness? It's enough to paralyze a person into inaction and despair.There are so many passages in "Red Eyes" that seem to perfectly apply to what I'm certain many of us are feeling as we watch and read and hear and discuss what's happening. Our hearts have red eyes even if we haven't shed literal tears.
I'm not going to turn this into a pretentious telethon nor am I going to use guilt to shake you down and separate you from your cash. If you have means and feel moved to do so there are many people on the ground already trying to bring aid to those in need, and that's pretty much everyone who has survived. If you're not sure where to go, here's a guide to a few of the organizations already doing the work. In addition to those listed, Oxfam and Doctors Without Borders have been there and are still there.
"Red eyes... Pray for Haiti."