Sunday, 24 January 2010

The persistence of hope

Like everyone else, I’ve been thinking a lot about the situation in Haiti – and I’ll write about it later.  In the meantime…

Yesterday we were informed that the Haitian government had called off the rescue efforts.  This is an understandable, rational decision to have reached.  But 11 hours later a 24-year old man was pulled from the rubble (you can find the BBC story here).

This raises questions for me – questions that challenge my rational mind.  Why would the families, and rescue crews, hold out any hope of finding someone alive after all this time.  From previous disasters of this kind, the evidence would clearly indicate that we are way past the point where a human could survive.  Yet, miraculously, they are!

The challenge?  How do you make a decision that eliminates hope for those who haven’t found their loved ones?  How do you choose between the slim prospects of finding any more survivors and beginning the tasks of clearing rubble, providing immediate aid and rebuilding?  Such decisions must be agonising to make – we should pray for those who are faced with these impossible choices.

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