However awkwardly, we are making ready to leave for Haiti again in two days. Tomorrow at noon we will begin our trek south to Detroit en route to Miami and then Port Au Prince. We are all suffering a sort of disillusionment and disorientation since the trip was cancelled in the fall because of Hurricane Sandy. You can read about it two posts back. We have just come through the tunnel of Holiday rush, and the feeling is a little like blurred motion. I wonder that we should be going so soon after all that rush, I feel like part of me is still back at December 25th and is trying to catch up. The decorations are down, and so some semblance of normal is in the air, but now bags are repacked, and we are leaving what is somewhat normal to plunge ourselves into someone else's normal. A normal where the riptide of time has left broken and scourged lives desperate for hope and deliverance. As I peck away at the keyboard tonight, a child weeps in the dark, alone and afraid, a mother struggles to feed a hungry child devoid of enough nourishment herself to survive, a father agonizes in frustration and hunger, for tomorrow will produce more of what came today, no work, no food, no change. I know these faces, for I am beholden to them every time I enter the universe called Haiti. A surreal place that challenges the frame of my understanding and shakes me to the core of my being. It would be so easy to quit, to drive these images from my mind and to free myself of the bondage to serve, to wrap myself in my soft quilt of American culture, to continue to be drugged with a false sense of security, and serve my selfish desires... or would it? The truth is I cannot. And while I may be beleaguered and tired, the force of grace drives me on, drives us on. And so tonight we re-boot, the countdown begins, and ready hearts move into position, flanking each other, we press on. Like the children in the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, we move across the room together, approaching that foreboding closet door, ready to tumble again through the wardrobe and into a land of icy cold, frozen by evil, shrouded and encased in a bubble of time far removed from what we are accustomed too. We tumble in to take the great message of the Lion of the tribe of Judah, a message of hope, with goods, and good tidings we go. There is much we desire to do this week, but circumstances will rise and endeavor to shut down our efforts. Pray we are able to accomplish what we are meant to accomplish this week. That we are able to serve up marvelous portions of hope, to feed the hungry, to give a drink to the thirsty, to bind up the broken, to hug the forlorn, to pass out warm smiles and to sweeten the bitterness of the forsaken. It's a very formidable task, but we are up for the challenge. We do not stand on our own, but on the wings of Him who carries us. Many blessings tonight!