I’ve long been moved by faces. It’s probably one of the reasons I’ve been so drawn to photography–the pursuit of that moment when eyes light with that inexpressible “something” that conveys so much more than a collection of traits and expressions.
How many times in the past few days have I stayed up late, looking through the thousands of online photos of Haitian quake survivors, drawn in by the desperation in some of them, repulsed by the unfathomable stench that sometimes reached through the screen, so graphic and disturbing were the images? How often have I lain in bed trying to forget what I’d seen as I converted very real nausea into impotent-feeling prayers?
I haven’t always been a person who prayed. In younger years, I found that the exercise left me feeling useless. And as I observed grown-ups who prayed ferociously yet never seemed to invest any more than their words into meeting an urgent need, I began to consider intercession to be a form of hypocrisy. “Hey, I prayed about it, now I’m free to go on with the rest of my life.”
The faces of these Haitian survivors have confirmed to me that prayer without action is like conviction without change. How can we pray for God to intervene, yet do nothing to be a part of the healing only He can bring? When I showed a short video of the quake to my choir last week, I challenged all of us to pray. And then I challenged us to give. Because we can be–must be–a part of God’s answer to our prayers. And that group of students, with no ties or obligations to the people of Haiti, donated $950 to earthquake relief. They saw the faces of strangers and were compelled to step up and “do,” rather than sitting back and waiting for others to deal with the inconceivable need.
I look into the faces pictured in this blog and find myself fighting tears…again. And I hope that others will be moved too–that others will add action to intercession and be a part of God’s work to help and heal the devastated people of Haiti. If these faces won’t do it, I don’t think anything will… More of them pictured below. [Note: None of these pictures are mine. I found them on various Internet news sites. I think that’s obvious, but I wanted to make it clear.]
This baby had just spent three days buried under the rubble. This is his expression upon seeing his mom again for the first time…
I like to think that I have a fairly good grasp of words, but there are none to describe this. His–yes–FACE says it all.