Monday, October 24, 2016

30 Seconds


These trips have so many angles of reality, it’s hard to keep track. Today the alarm sounded at 2:00 am. We hustled around and did the final pack, drove to the airport and off loaded 44 pieces of luggage. We hit our first snag as the bag tickets printed, an alarm sounded behind the counter and the printer malfunctioned. It took an hour to resolve. The counter clerk kept his cool, albeit it was tentative for a while, and then upgraded our tickets to Group 1 boarding for free so we could make sure all day packs would be on the topside of the plane and not have a lost bag like last trip. Being up at 2:00 am paid off! Needless to say you live in a time warp your first day and it’s hard to keep track. At one point as we entered a plane the Captain asked my son Kelly to tell him who he was in 30 seconds. Kelly looked like a deer in the headlights for the first 10 seconds, then the Captains phone rang and the conversation was interrupted. I went to my seat thinking about that request though, “tell me who you are in 30 seconds”. Can we be summed up in 30 seconds? I tried to put together a neat and nifty reply. In ministry I have performed many funerals across the years, and have never felt a life was done justice in 30-45 minutes. There is a certain grandeur in each and every life, hidden clefts, sloping landscapes, pinnacles and breathtaking peaks, valleys too deep to measure, winters and springs, summer and falls, nothing at all that fits in 30 seconds. We are a culture of the summarized, the abbreviated, the condensed, the abridged. Plunging into Haiti is like a slow motion vortex. Already I feel the drag of the gravity of time as I strain to get there. Meeting deadlines that soon won’t matter I’ll join a culture that is forced to stay hostage to the present. Their dollar is plunging, the rate is currently somewhere around 26 Haitian dollars to 1 US dollar. With poverty as their warden, they live trapped and at the mercy of this task master for their next meal. How filtered is my life? How watered down and diluted can I get? Haiti grounds me, as I help these beloved people, they help reset my life parameters. No 30 second profiles for me. Look at the people around you more closely, try to set aside the demands of time and money for a moment and reflect on the beauty and majesty of the created lives next to you. Pay attention to the details. Don’t abbreviate, don’t condense, the good and the bad all write an incredible story, form a unique landscape, and have individual design and intrigue if you would pause to see it. When I get to Haiti, it used to be a sea of black faces to me, they all looked the same. But I have spent years now studying these people, seeking connection beyond just money, and it’s paying off. It’s no longer just faces in a dusty, dry, and dirty land, it’s people, souls, deep and beautiful, they tell stories, they live difficult but majestic lives, and one day soon, this struggle will be behind us all. But let’s not miss the moments, let’s not refuse to be present because we are too busy. The plane descends, to the tarmac of a far off country we go! Blessings from St. Marc.

4 comments:

Lynn Ellis said...

So happy you are all there safe! Been praying all day. Love to each one of you. I love you ALL! And I love Haiti! Deeply. Please give my love to Rob Rob and family. An extra big hug to Peterson. And as you begin your first big day tomorrow...please know Ellery and I are wrapping each one of you in love and prayer by name! Bethie, I love you. Your heart is as big and generous as the ocean. I'm so glad you're my sister. Kel, I finally found the man that is as good as if you'd had a little brother! Lol. I've always thought you were pretty amazing. Kelly, you have a very special way about you. You are full of pure magic and big love. Krystle, you are strong and sassy....and I think you are capable of anything. Delores, you are a delight to know. Kind, gentle, and caring. Dan- you are something else! Funny, authentic, and giving. I'm so happy to know you. Abigail, your smile lights up a room, and your nurses heart will most certainly be a gigantic gift this trip. Lee, you have a sweetness about you that makes me feel safe. A good listener. Emma, you are about as funny as a girl can be....and you are incredibly creative. Caeli- you are a bright light, and you make everything more fun.....even hard work. What an incredible journey you all are on! I told Beth this morning, maybe I'll make it back for the 10 year reunion next year.....who knows?! What a joy to be even a small part of this trip. My heart is with you all. Believing. Knowing. Each one of you is making an incredible impact in our world. We are with you, for you, and so proud of each one of you. Love and huge hugs tonight. Xoxo xoxo

Jenny said...

Praising God for a safe trip there! We pray for His Hand to be upon you and work through you this week. Thanks for the updates. Love, Jenny and Josiah

Bob said...

This is for Kel & Kelly
Wood all split on top Landing.

Darlene said...

Dear Haiti Team of ours, Have written twice before-will keep trying, Beth. Miss you all and happy you are all there safely, privileged beyond measure, only wanting to give & give some more for Jesus' sake. You cannot outgive Him so expect great things!Greetings to all from Bob & me. Give out lots of hugs for us. Praying for each of you. Love, Us