The Devastation Is Personal

I’d like to introduce Rasheid. Rasheid is a coworker of mine and a very kind gentleman. I have worked with Rasheid for about seven years and have always enjoyed spending time with him. Rasheid holds dual Pakistani/Canadien citizenships. Most of his immediate family lives in Canada.

Rasheid and his wife are childless. However, I recall how ecstatic I was to hear the news that Rasheid’s wife was finally pregnant. They had been trying for so long. I also recall the afternoon Rasheid received that frantic phone call to inform him that his wife had to be rushed to the hospital. Rashieid’s wife survived. The baby did not. I remember looking into Rasheid’s face and realizing that I was unable to relieve his pain.

I have now re-experienced that very feeling this week. Rasheid was sharing with me that while his relatives live in the more southern portion of Pakistan, the families of many of his friends in Canada were in fact from the area most effected by the recent earthquake. Rasheid says he has talked to most of his friends in Canada and many have received the solemn confirmation that their relatives are now counted among the perished. Rasheid has yet to hear from any who have heard from surviving relatives.

Lee Sr. makes a convicting observation of the response, or lack of, by most of the blogs he frequents. I think there are some very insightful reactions in the comments to his post and I think I tend to agree with the idea that we might be a bit numb from natural disasters and are not as sure anymore exactly how we are to respond. This is even more so when the disaster is in a land so far removed from ours. Yes, we can and should provide monetary support as we are able, but I’d like to suggest that we also have other opportunities. Look around you. Many of our communities have pockets of Pakistani and Indian populations. Perhaps you work with some yourself. Reach out to them. You may be no more able to relieve their pain than I have been for Rasheid, but know this; our Lord’s heart breaks for those experiencing incredible pain from the loss of loved ones. Ours should as well.