Tuesday, November 5, 2013


I must confess writing over the last few days has made me miss my normal routine. Words hold a certain fascination for me, so much of thought can be gloriously shared through the proper construct of words. I am ever striving to work with words, I am a work in progress! Authors with great command of vocabulary quickly move up to the top of my favorites list. The drive of my work schedule and pastoral routines deprive me of time to devote to my writing discipline. Writing is work, and often when your tired you can't get the words to line up right on the page! But Haiti drives my fingers to the keys, a story must be told, I feel compelled to give the voiceless a tongue, to give the impoverished a platform from which to be heard. To speak of destitute children, to caress their struggle onto a page where they are no longer lost among so much generalized suffering, to write their story on the pages of history. How will history be altered, and a new generation with new hope be inspired, part of it will be in the words that are penned to study the success and failures of a culture. Most of it will be because of people acting on truth with conviction, most of it will be a combined effort, where people learn from each other the lessons of truth God bears out in our lives. I remain a student of the Haitian culture, so many Americans race in and try to Americanize this place, but with disastrous results. We must come to this place with humility, as they suffer in certain areas of ignorance, so do we. In sounding out each other's lives, therein lies the secret of God's revelatory plan. He puts us together, we must learn to deeply love and respect each other's way of life, and in so doing, find the freedom to bring healing to us all. For we are all broken, the fabric of our dreams tattered and torn with reckless abandon by this thing we call life. There is joy in the journey, part of the joy is we need not journey alone. As we took off from Miami this afternoon I struck up a small conversation with a lady about my age. In the mini discussion that followed where we shared general travel information, when I stated I was coming home from Haiti, she looked into my face and declared "Thank you!" She told me how grateful she was I was giving my time and efforts to help there. I was taken aback, I have never had that happen before. So then I started my quest to see where such a gratitude had originated. Turns out years ago she served for three years aboard the original "Mercy Ship". Life has handed her disappointments and she is far from that place of service today. So I encouraged her to not give up on her dreams, and wished her well as we debarked the plane. I new sense of gratitude came over me for the second time today, that in the turns of my life, they have lead me here, God has brought me here. I have a people's story to share, and I do with fervor. And not just the Haitians story, but the stories of lives here at home finding redemption. Whatever difference God should chose to make through this unworthy vessel, let that difference be made. These last few days have inspired me, difficult, yes, but worth it. As I sat in the terminal this morning I watched an old Haitian woman in a wheel chair take to a terrible coughing fit. I watched the airport service personnel in charge of her give her no heed, no one did anything, but then I did. I went and offered her the only thing I could, a cold cup of water. She looked at me with such grateful eyes. It was the capstone moment of a week watching people struggle without water. The only language we shared was the language of the heart, but we understood each other clearly. I was no longer in St. Marc, I had the proclivity to be thinking my mission was over, but God bumped me from the rear and said "what are you thinking?" Always be ready and watching for your opportunity to share compassion, you don't need to board the "Mercy Ship" or fly to a far away country, most opportunities are right in the same room you are, you already possess your gift to share, you just need to share it. As we do what we should, culture is shifted and changed toward the good. Working together I expect God to bring change to Haiti in His time, I need to stay patient, and not worry about the pace of the change, I just need to stay faithful to the process! Blessings from Chicago!

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