It is now a week since the disastrous earthquake in Haiti. Since then the descriptions and images coming from the beleaguered Caribbean country have been truly horrific.

In the last few days I have been visited by one particular set of images. They are of another me. A Haitian me. A wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend who has lost so much; loved ones, her home, pets, a livelihood, normality. I am struck by her almost overwhelming fear; fear of further quakes and aftershocks, fear of the aggression of others who are driven to the brink of insanity by the enormity of what has happened, fear of long nights full of foul stenches and total darkness. I am struck by her loss and her grief which has no expression as she struggles for her own survival and that of her children. And I am struck by her loss of hope. In ways that is the worst of all. A life without hope is a life without light.

And perhaps this is what we, here in the safety and security of the developed world, are called to do at this time. Perhaps our job now is to hold the light, hold the hope for our sisters and brothers in Haiti. We must stand firm while they struggle with despair and misery.

We are the carriers of the message that all is not lost. We must hold the vision of better days ahead for Haiti. As we feel their pain and bear witness to their suffering, through whatever means we choose, be it prayer, fundraising, moments of silent meditation, we hold the light.

We guard the hope of a bright, brand new day which is just beyond view. Just over the horizon.


“Now the music’s gone but they carry on

For their spirit’s been bruised, never broken

They will not forget but their hearts are set

on tomorrow and peace once again

For what’s done is done and what’s won is won

and what’s lost is lost and gone forever

I can only pray for a bright, brand new day

in the town I loved so well “

Phil Coulter