Updated: Mar 22, 2021
Happiness is a lot like sorrow, that’s for sure.
Returning from Haiti doesn’t come with a high anymore, it is more like a crashing.
A slipping away.
A loss of balance.
For the first time, I traveled to Haiti like I did in the beginning: as a missionary. All remnants of Michel were gone. His voice didn’t echo anywhere, his footsteps didn’t go first. There was an honesty and purity that had been lost, now restored, and this makes it all the worse.
My life walks a line of regret and gratitude, so mixed that they bleed together. But gratitude always wins. Because, Levi.
Francesca is old now. Jeanita and Barbara and Peterson and Kendy. They are all growing up. But they remember me. They remember my time with them, how precious it was, how I only see it so clearly now. Francesca has my attitude, poor girl, and the women there tell her she’s just like the one who raised her, me, but they’re smiling, because there’s a sweetness to it.
The day before we left I stayed back with the kids, lying on the bottom bunk of the older girls three layer bunks, and from 8am-2pm I didn’t move. Fifteen kids piled in that room, and we all talked and shared and laughed like we could stay that way forever.
But I could have.
My heart beats slower in Haiti. My breaths are more drawn out and my steps are more sure. I was surprised to find how much like home it really felt. Oh, what I lost by my sin. And still, what I have gained.
I got to hug my closest friends, kiss the wounds of those that have been injured, revisit memories with the ones I never thought I’d lose.
All this could be done while my heart was thousands of miles away, being brilliantly cared for by his dad and my mom.
How do I merge the two? How could they ever come together, the two lives that have such a severe line between them?
I recently read about a movement trying to stop orphanages. Reading it was painful, what this author experienced. It’s very sad what is being done, how some families are separated for money and so on. But Haiti180, it is not this. Not in any way. These children are without families. They are not there for any gains of the mission’s own. They, by the grace of God, have found a home.
I’ll live inside this place of pain and missing and longing and hoping for a while. But every day I wake up to my son, I know that all is well. And I know, that one day, God will do what He does best, and make it all ok. In the meantime, I’ll seek joy in the longing.
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet