I rested for a moment in one of hallways of her clinic. The tile on the floor was cool and immaculate. When I went back out in the bustling streets, the chaos and confusion was oppressive, disorienting.
That's part of why the Hotel Montana was so comforting. Sitting on the patio where Woolley and Hames were photographed, you could see enough of the city to recall where you were and what you were doing there. But some days I didn't want to leave the Montana. I wanted to stay on that patio, have another bite of the wonderful tropical fruits they served for breakfast, and keep my distance from the city.
There were days when I asked myself if the work was worth it. Were the results one could witness in Haiti equivalent to the resources of time, work and money that had been poured into this desperate place?
I remember feeling somewhat guilty about asking this question. But I can certainly forgive Renee Hames if she asks a similar question herself.
Kelly Williams is pastor of Vanguard Church in Colorado Springs, where the Hames family attends. Last Sunday, Williams taught on Romans 1:16-17, a famous Bible passage about how "the righteous will live by faith.
"One of the concepts I'm addressing is that faith begins when answers end," says Williams. "I think true righteousness can be seen in the kind of faith walk that says, 'I don't know what God is doing, but I am going to trust him anyway."
As Williams prepares each Sunday's sermon, he asks people to respond to questions via Facebook, and he anticipates addressing some member comments about the Haiti tragedy this Sunday. But when it comes to counseling members of his flock about how to deal with the existential questions that arise in the face of tragedies like this one, he affirms
"It's not our job to speculate about whether David is dead or alive," he says. "Our job is to support Renee and pray for a miracle, until God reveals otherwise. That's our game plan.
"Meanwhile, we must all make a choice. Are we going to trust the Lord in the face of such tragedies? And I think that's what faith in God is all about."