I have just been moved to tears watching the news from Haiti. It wasn’t watching the appalling struggles for humanity in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake, or the dead bodies on the street, although they were terrible to see.
I happened to switch on the news to see a husband who had heard his wife’s voice coming from under the rubble of a building, 6 days after the earthquake. It must have been the most welcome sound he’d ever heard and yet, she was still trapped under rubble and steel building rods. Would she be rescued safely?
Scrabbling in the dusty rubble a hole was created and the news journalist pushed his microphone into the hole so they could hear from the women. She said she was ok but her hand was trapped and that she wanted her husband to know that she loves him very much.
LA fire fighters arrived and began to clear the hole and create further space for a camera to be inserted so they could work out how to release her hand, to free her safely. We saw the face of courageous a women, her dusty eyes blinked, she was in pain and yet she smiled. She smiled.
After carefully dismantling the tomb that she was encased within, this amazing woman was brought out. Her husband was so relieved and happy. As she was slid out of the rubble, she lay on a stretcher and burst into song; a song of thanks, a song of hope. It was deeply moving. The reporter asked her if she thought she would survive and she smiled and said ‘Of course, why not!’ Her powerful belief of survival was obvious. She just knew it was going to be ok.
The next we saw of her, she was sitting in the front seat of a white car, like nothing had happened – a big smile on her face! I did notice she was on a drip – she must be highly dehydrated after all these days. What an amazing lady.
From someone who is sitting in the luxury of her own home tonight, with only a decision about what have for dinner… I was humbled by her strength, courage and that smile.
Again, this is an extraordinary story of an ordinary woman. So when we think we’re having a bad day, maybe we should wonder – compared to whom? When our life isn’t quite the way we want, we could think – Who can change it? This lady must have not only strong belief in her God, her husband, her rescuers but also in herself. She must have felt worth saving. She did not give up.