Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kijan ou rele (What's your name)

What’s your name? That’s what this little phrase means. It’s how you ask someone in Creole to tell you who they are. But what is in a name? I can hardly pronounce many of them, let alone remember them. And yet in each name there is represented the entirety a life. All the good, all the bad, stacks of memory, struggles, joy and pain, happy times and sad, blessings and curses, right and wrong, love and hate, all wrapped in simple syllables. The pronouncement of that name by a parent can bring extraordinary joy, or crippling fear, the name in its pronouncement can be made fun of, or bring great respect. Such a little thing, seemingly insignificant, yet it carries the weight of each person alive, for all of us have this common thread. God individually creates us each, and it is inescapable that we carry the mark of our individualism born out in our names. Here I am in the land of 9,000,000 Haitians, they all have a name, I have a name, you reading this post also have this thread in common. My point is that whether we like it or not, there are common threads woven through our existence, through our cultures, that declare us connected in ways we do not understand. Like laughter is a universal language, so our names are a universal connection that marks the whole of humanity. A goat is a goat, there are lots of goats in Haiti. None of these goats bear a name. However, every one of them belongs to a person who does. As we made or way up and down through the mountain yesterday morning, there were children in all kinds of devastating circumstances, but as we came through one particular passageway, I heard a small voice singing, it was tender, on tune, and the melody carried notes of joy. It was the voice of a single little girl, perhaps no older than 3 or 4. I can’t tell you her address, I can’t even tell you in this blog her name, but she has one. She is identifiable out of all humanity everywhere; she has her own uniquely created DNA, she has a name, a life, she is loved. While her circumstances are meager at best, her life is radiating a magic all her own. And we were taken by it. God is taken by it. As we leave here this morning, I have gained greater understanding of the connections that bind all people everywhere together. We have a responsibility to care for one another, to make a difference where we can. So once again part of me remains here. At very least my name will remain behind, but the truth is, so much more of me will too. What’s in a name? You, me, and all humanity. Let us not neglect the connection, and may you remember this the next time you ask; “What’s your name?” Blessings abounding.

1 comment:

Jake T said...

So glad you all have made it stateside safe and sound. We missed you guys and I love you all. Can not wait to see you all and hear your stories, God bless.