Monday, May 31, 2010

Questions

All of our bags are packed. All of our furniture is moved. It is raining, the internet is out. The power is out. TIH

There is nothing left to do but shower when the power comes back. Sleep. Then climb on the plane taking us to the States.

I wonder what in the hell all of this means.

I have been in Haiti for 5 months and 4 days. I think I know less now than when I came.

I thought I would see the world and develop ideas about how missions should be done. I thought I would see poverty and develop ideas about how aid should be done.

In hindsight, those were unbelievably arrogant thoughts. To think that I could spend 5 months of my 26 years here and “figure it out”! If I had spoken those thoughts to anyone here when I showed up, they would have laughed in my face. And rightly so.

I have built a great friendship with a long term missionary here, John. He has lived in Haiti almost as long as I have been alive. He says the longer he is here, the less he understands. On the eve of my first furlough, I certainly believe it.

This is all a very winding way to say that I am going home with more questions than answers.
How do you provide aid without destroying the local economy? What does Haiti need? What is the best way for the American church to do missions? Where is God in disasters? And what is the right answer when people ask, “did God cause this earthquake?” How do I go home and live in Dallas after living in Haiti? How different am I? How different are my friends? Can I hide in my in-laws' guestroom for 8 weeks? In short, how do I make sense of all of this?

I feel similar to the way I felt when I first watched Memento or Basic.

I want to rewind to the confusing parts and watch it again to get the answers. Or I want to turn to the person who watched it with me and ask, “huh?” and have them explain it (where is Jeff Gillum when you need him!).

I know it is not going to work that way. I am only going to sort this out by spending a great deal of time asking the Holy Spirit to explain it to me. Even then, I realize that some of the answers might elude me in this life.

There is no neat way to wrap up these thoughts because there is no clean summary for heavy questions like these. They will be wrestled with, unpacked, and banged at with a sledge hammer. Some will crumble. Some will chip. And some will dent the hammer.

1 comment:

  1. You may be getting tired of hearing it, but I'm sure your family and friends (both at home and in Haiti) are proud and thankful for what you have accomplished. Jesus doesn't ask us to do lots of material things or even understand all that much why we do what we do (or at least why He does what He does). He asks us to glorify Him, and to love others as ourselves as we share Him with others. You've both gone above and beyond in regards to that. Thanks.

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