It is a constant struggle. A GOOD struggle. How do we live with plenty, serve the poor, and not be in a constant state of angst? Each one of my kids have asked me that numerous times over the years. Coleman asked one time, “How do we eat steak and know that our friends in Haiti have nothing to eat?” Each time I come up speechless because there is no answer to satisfy and I don’t think there should be an answer. We need to sit with this dilemma and decide individually how we reconcile it.
Kenny and I just went on an anniversary vacation. Typically our trips together are to Haiti but this time we went away and took in beautiful scenes like waterfalls and hiking trails and ate delicious food. In the back of my mind was always my friends in Haiti. The hard life they lead. The protein deficiencies in the children. The lack of electricity and water. And the images are always there in my head and forever placed in my soul.
As we drove from one excursion to another or late at night or over dinner, we talked about our friends in Haiti, pitched our organization to a guy on the airplane, called Jean Marc to see if he had started school, gushed with stories to Lynn (our amazing hostess on our trip), and brainstormed about my trip to Haiti coming up in a few weeks. Some will say, “You deserve to get away and not think about that.” My response to that is, “Are you crazy?” They are not a project I need to put on a shelf that I can pick up later….the people in Haiti are a part of me just like my own children. It brings me life and it is a bond in my own family that keeps us grounded and aware of God’s kingdom, which happens all over the world.
So now to get to the question, “how do we live with such contrast?” We sit in it. We don’t divert our eyes when we see the pictures. We don’t distract ourselves when God puts the poor on our hearts. We stop. We think. We pray. We learn more. That is how the world is changed-one person at a time.
Besides marrying an amazing man and having 4 awesome kids, serving in Haiti is my biggest privilege. I don’t know why I get to go and be with people so much wiser and so much stronger than I am. I am not qualified- I have no real skills and no real qualifications. I just heard God say GO and I went. I don’t know the language, I am more out of shape than every Haitian in the country, I don’t know all the right Bible verses, and I can’t get done in a week what they do in a day. But I do know how to hug a child with sincerity and show tough love to a student not doing well in school. And God says that is enough. Just go.
I don’t know where you are in this journey God has called you to live but I wonder if you think about the poor and their needs. I wonder if you love deeply and give of yourself sacrificially. Maybe we just need to think and pray about it more and God will do the rest. We don’t have to figure out today how to eat steak and enjoy it while other people are hungry- but we need to ask ourselves the question and then LET GOD.