Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I'm back!

Back to blogging, and back to....

I hope to post some back-dated articles about my trip home, so you might want to check for them later (scroll down on the home page of my blog, past this article, and they should show up between "Year in Review," which was my last post of 2012, and this post).

Ah, yes! So I'm in Haiti again.

All day yesterday, the eve of my departure, it didn't seem real that I was going--or at least, it didn't seem like I was going somewhere drastic and far away. I felt so nonchalant and unconcerned about it. Even when I got up at 5:00 this morning to leave for the airport, it didn't quite hit me. Not until I was dragging suitcases through the Charlotte airport did I have a bit of nervous stomach-jitters. Ah! I'm going back to HAITI! I thought. What will this trip hold for me? But even that was as fleeting as thought.

It didn't fully hit me until I emerged from the front door of the airport in Port-Au-Prince and saw the smiling faces of the welcoming party who had come to greet me. And then it hit me: A wave of happiness, huge, ecstatic happiness to be here. When I smelled the distinctive smell of the air and saw the sights that just a few months ago seemed so foreign and strange, I knew I was glad to be here. I was glad, exultantly, jubilantly glad. I smiled all the way home on the tap-tap. I had a private little worship session by myself on that two-hour drive, and with a full heart, I just praised the Lord for letting me come back here. I felt like my face was glowing with an irrepressible smile, and it was all I could do to keep from bursting out in loud songs of praise.

I was sitting in the back of the tap-tap, talking to Jesus, and I had a bunch of very clear and vivid thoughts on many topics, but one of them in particular struck me in a way that demanded obedience and a change of heart.

You see, I have talked bad about Haiti. I've said good things, too, but often I have let myself exclaim in a shocked tone of voice over different negative aspects of Haiti, using words like "incompetence," "massive illness down there," "corruption," and "inefficiency."

What struck me was--that's not just Haiti. That's planet Earth.

Sin has polluted the human race, not just Haiti. Now, Haiti perhaps has some very obvious deficiencies in a number of key categories, but the other countries, the ones that look more "put together," also have glaring deficiencies that are surely just as egregious to God, only they happen to be in different categories, ones that we consider to be more "sanitary," and therefore, we more easily overlook them.

Then it struck me, hard: "What if Jesus talked about earth the way I have talked about Haiti?"

Can you imagine Jesus talking like this? Picture Him (if you can) getting together with a few the angels after he ascends up to heaven, and standing around with them in little knots, talking in low voices and saying, "You would not believe what a horrible place Earth is. You may have heard about it, but there's no way to understand it or imagine it until you've been there. Ugh! The corruption, the dishonesty, the back stabbing, the unbelievable incompetence at every's just shocking. It's really shocking. People are ignorant. They don't know anything. And then the massive illness down there! It seemed like everybody was sick. The amount of time I had to spend just healing people was ridiculous."

I can't imagine Him talking like that. By extension, I ought not to talk like that. It's not Christlike.

So I want to apologize to as many as possible of the people who heard me talking in a negative way. I want Jesus to be the one in the future who informs the way I speak. I want to love as He loved.

How did Jesus act towards "this present evil world"? How did He approach this habitation of sin, treachery, murder, pain, and suffering?


He loved the world, and he loved the people as individuals.

And so I make it my prayer: LORD, let me LOVE. Let me love as you love, with pure, strong, unquenchable, unconditional love. Let me love you, and love Haiti in general, and love Haitians an individuals.

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