Monday, January 9, 2012

Rain on the Roof, Tears Falling Down

I don't know if it's the weather, the winter season, the moment, the images on the screen tonight, the emotions conjured up by the memories, but tears run down my cheeks as I watch Rock Center by Brian Williams.  When you see images flash across your television screen that you have stared down face to face--the poverty, the desolation, the hunger, the tears, but that's not all--the smiles, the laughter, the children singing, the face of a little girl whose hair ribbon was tied around your wrist one summer day and now hangs on your refrigerator door, you can't look into those faces and hear those voices and not be changed.  I am changed because of Haiti.  I see differently.  I love differently.  I confess differently.  I forgive differently.  I understand differently. I cry out differently.  I stumble and fall differently.  And I rise from my ashes differently because I no longer try to do it all myself.  I have learned that their is always a hand holding onto mine when I stand back up and move forward.  There are days my heart hurts because of what I have seen.  It hurts because I have prayed over babies who may not survive.  I have handed food to people who are truly starving.  I have handed medicines as simple as tylenol and vitamins to desperate people who long for healing.  I have stood in the shallows, at the edge of a lake and on the edge of the ocean in two different small villages and looked at the immensity and beauty of my Creator.  But it also hurts because I can still hear the laughter.  I can still feel five little girls crowded in around me to hear the story I read to them in French and to look at its illustrations.  I can feel them sitting in my lap and leaning over both of my shoulders, braiding my hair as I read.  I can still hear voices gathered under the lone tree in a village of grass huts and dirt floors. I went to Haiti for the first time in the summer of 2010 a heartbroken mess.  I'm still a mess, but a place full of such brokenness itself was used to continue the work already started in my heart of working toward healing.  So tonight I say thanks.  Healing comes from unexpected places, and because it has come and continues to come, I offer up my hands and my feet and my heart to be used here, in Haiti, wherever.  The tears that stain my cheeks tonight fall because my heart will never be the same.  They fall to remind me that there is still help to bring.  There is still healing that needs to come.  They fall to remind me to give thanks that I am not wallowing in the mess and ashes instead of seeing and living in the beauty.

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