As we climbed through the early morning skies, I watched the lights blinking on the wing tips. The white flashing revealed tiny clear crystal's lighting up in the backdrop. Then I realized I was seeing snow. When I boarded it was T-shirt weather on the ground, but as we climbed, the chill up high had the moisture that was landing down below shiny dots of ice glistening in the atmosphere. I was shocked how far we climbed and they remained. But another thought possessed me then, no matter how far we climb, or how far we travel, we never even begin to touch the universe which God possesses and rules, and abides in. Yes I do know this to be true, but sometimes going there brings greater clarity to life and circumstance.
Such is the trek for me in my life with regards to Haiti.You can talk about the love of God in far away places, in deep places, but it's all just so much theological gibberish until you actually land there. It's what my dear college professor spelled out in the difference between sympathizing with someone versus empathizing with them. After you have walked a mile in their shoes, struggled under their load, and suffered the tyranny of their lives, there is a parting, an opening of the eyes to something more, and suddenly you find yourself opened to a new dimension of love and understanding.
That is part of my personal journey into Haiti, and today, in the absence of any others to watch over, I allowed myself a little deeper dip into Haitian life and to the surroundings. As I stepped out of the truck tonight into the St Marc streets, I stepped into the very sewage I had a year ago. Everything within me recoiled as I felt the filthy moisture swiftly seep through my sock. I could have blamed the driver for stopping there, exclaimed my disgust, but in a moment I checked myself. This is his life, this is the cage to which he is confined. But really then, does he see is as a cage. Is his joy blocked by this filth. I think not, I am the one preconditioned, I am the one not free, chained by a tyranny of the mind, not exercising freedom in the Spirit of God, for He is also here. Does this environment bother Him? I think much differently and on a whole different dimension than I get. These people, not their circumstances is what God gravitates too. He is much less concerned about the external, and more deeply about the internal. Death sweeps through this agonizing land, but more and more each day I come to clearer terms that it's not really death for the Christian at all, its the shedding of this reality for the other more real reality. And this is my chance to effect change, to accept them in their place of reality, to love them to the God I know who loves them more perfectly and unconditionally than I ever could! So love them I do, in all the deep and filthy morass of this place, with its sordid smells and stark poverty, I love them, and pray for them, and hope for deliverance for all of them, not so much from the tyranny of this place, but from the tyranny of the sin and corruption that is found here. They are not here by choice, but they do have a choice wether to wallow in it or not. Those that choose not to wallow, they are my champions, they outshine me, they out pace me toward the kingdom. They are the true champions in life. So I pillow my head tonight and rest, I rest in the peace that lies within me, I rest because God is even in this atmosphere! He sees me and I see Him, perhaps a little more clearly after this day!
Lest you think my theology a little weak, beware of the rawness of this enviroment, theology has it's place, but it also can be just so much verb-age, words without weight, placed on a canvas void of life and substance. Here, there is great weigh, and a canvas soiled and stained by so much time and suffering. Here is where our theology better work, or we need to go back and find out where we left God behind. I have seen Him here again today and I marvel at His grace and goodness shown me by these incredible and deserving people. Were the tables turned, I'm not sure I would fair so well
I have done my techno stuff tonight, lit this place up again with internet, fixed Rob and Naromie up with fresh phones and plugged them back into the land of the WIFI! I am unpacked and moved in, ready to go to work tomorrow. Thanks for all the prayers, the day went as smooth as it could have gone. Time to rest my weary flesh. Blessings from St. Marc!