The Spirit is Stirring
by Rev. Cynthia Fierro Harvey*
July 12, 2010--I awakened this morning with a tension in my heart. On the one hand it ached and on the other it danced for joy. Today marks the six month anniversary of the January 12 earthquake in Haiti. As I sit in the office of the late Rev. Sam Dixon, former head of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), who lost his life in the earthquake along with so many others-my heart aches. For those that still live in tents with great uncertainty-my heart aches.
But in some strange way in the midst of all the devastation and disaster, my heart also dances. It dances because in the midst of loss, chaos and disaster, I get a strong sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit's moving. Liturgically, this is still the season of Pentecost. It's a time when we experience and hear the stories of the Spirit's whirling and stirring in the lives of people. I believe we can experience a personal Pentecost as we take a moment and notice the movement of the Spirit in the lives of people all around us.
Even in the midst of tragedy in Haiti, the Spirit is stirring. All you have to do is notice the resilience of the Haitian people, the Spirit is stirring; as you get off the plane in Port-au-Prince and encounter hundreds of aid workers, the Spirit is stirring; in the child who knocks on the car window longing for pocket change, the Spirit is stirring; in the congregations that assemble thousands upon thousands of health kits, the Spirit is stirring; in the expression of extravagant generosity, the Spirit is stirring, and in the midst of pain and devastation, the Spirit is stirring. Thank God!
A funny thing happens when the Spirit stirs, lives are transformed. Lives are being transformed all over Haiti and all over the world as people reach out to help. It has been six months and the progress is slow, but there is progress nonetheless – lives are being transformed. I am certain that the Spirit will continue to stir, and with the commitment of the people of the United Methodist Church, and others around the world, lives will continue to be transformed.
* Rev. Cynthia Fierro Harvey is the Deputy General Secretary for UMCOR.