From a distance we have seen calamity crush the already poor people of Haiti. We’ll never know if 200,000 is the correct number of those who died. We do know that there were too many.

Most of us cannot go. Many of us have given our money through World Relief and other agencies. All of us have prayed for God’s grace on those afflicted in ways that break our hearts.

Such calamity takes us back to the ancient sufferer Job. We know his children died, his wealth was taken and his health was broken. But, take special note of those who saw his suffering from a distance.

“When Job’s … friends …heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes …to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.” (Job 2:11-13 NIV).

Blessed are those who feel the suffering of the people of Haiti. There is divine good in weeping with those who weep and grieving with those who grieve. Good for all who go and give and pray. And, special honor to all who experience solidarity with those in calamity. Even from a distance.

This article originally appeared in the NAE Insight.

Leith Anderson

Leith Anderson has been president of the National Association of Evangelicals since 2006, and was the senior pastor of Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, for 35 years before retiring in 2011. He regularly teaches in seminaries, addresses evangelical concerns with elected officials, and provides theological and cultural commentary to leading news outlets. He has been published in many periodicals and has written over 20 books. Anderson has a Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary, and is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Bradley University and Denver Seminary.