Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Reflections on Haiti

I want to do something with my life. Every morning when I wake up I want to bring God's glory to Earth.  When I was in Haiti, I felt that I was doing that in some way. Whether it be telling a student that they are brilliant, praying with someone, playing with a student after school, worshipping with my Haitian brothers and sisters, or showing someone that I genuinely care about them.

Here in the states I feel as though these opportunities rarely happen. It not everyday that I see an orange haired child running around, or a baby with malaria that I can pray over, or students coming over that I can continue to work with on numbers or reading even after school has let out. North Americans have no problems, right?

But I think that this is the plight of the North American people. We are comfortable in our lives, and we assume that everyone else is comfortable, because, let's face it, everyone is clothed, visibly healthy, and only have orange hair if they intend for it to be orange. We lack the audacity to reach out to others and find out what their problems are, because after all, it's much easier to go to Haiti and help where you can visibly see the problems than to dig into someone's life which is messy.

For many people, digging into someone's life is painful. You help them carry their burdens, when their heart is breaking, your heart is breaking. But this is what Christ calls us to do just this as we grow in our own lives. In Matthew 16:24 we are called to "take up our cross" and to follow Christ. Our "cross" is our sin and those messy things that we carry that we don't want others to see. This seems hard and challenging and not very fun or exciting, but we are also called to carry something else... something that makes helping someone else seem like the only logical thing to do. In Matthew 11:29-30 we are told to take up Jesus' yoke, because his "yoke is easy and burden is light." I take these two verses combined to mean something like, take up your problems and follow me, but if you follow me it won't be difficult because nothing you will encounter will be difficult.

So there, my problems are easy in God's eyes, I have nothing to fear. So my next command is to make disciples of the world. My prayer is to do just that. The only way I know how to end this is with a quote from Rob Bell, regardless of your personal convictions against his theology I find these words to still be true.. "with every decision, gesture, conversation, action, or attitude we are bringing either heaven or hell to Earth."

I think the best way for me to bring heaven to earth is to get messy. To dig into someone's life who is hurting, to show them that there is hope and that they are loved. Lord, show me who.