Darkness IS Losing
Every so often, we start asking ourselves the same questions. Why are we here? What are we doing? Are we making a difference? Does it even matter? Is it worth it? Do we throw in the towel? Do we move back to family, friends and comforts and give our kids a more "normal" life? What good are we really doing helping such a small number of people? Should we be doing more? Do they really need us (foreigners) to come here? Would it be better if we all just went home and helped those around us in need? Those we could relate to? Those who spoke our language and shared our culture?
We talk ourselves onto the ledge and make ourselves believe that all missions work does more harm than good - especially the short term, in and out - but even the long term where dependency is created...and I could go on...
Then, you start dreaming about going back to your passport country. That country that after years of living in another country, doesn't really feel like "home" anymore. You get excited thinking about seeing family, and hot showers and the conveniences...and then you start to think about the re-entry and the anxiety that it brings and the fact that few will really understand what you're dealing with (including yourself) and how to process everything, and help your children process. Then your mind wanders to those you're leaving behind. Your friends, employees. The ones who can't just leave even though they're tired and worn out and frustrated from corruption and injustice, just like us. And the guilt sets in.
There is guilt in staying. There is guilt in going.
When we first came to Haiti, we thought we were coming for two years. We are closing out our fifth year this week. Missions is tough. Living in a country that is not your own is exhausting. Wondering if your children will grow up to eventually resent the fact that you've raised them in a foreign place, or if they'll respect and appreciate the gift that it is. Because yes, I realize that it is a gift to be able to have these experiences...climbing trees, sailing the Caribbean on wooden sailboats, riding around on donkeys and dirt bikes, learning new languages and cultures widening their worldview and softening their hearts. But what about the absence of family? Finding friends who you can truly relate with? Ones who you don't think about every time you sit down to dinner and your stomach aches with guilt because you don't know if they'll eat dinner - or any meal that day. Friends you think about during every rain storm because their roof is most likely leaking and water is dripping on them in their beds.
The physical needs are so great, and we feel like we can only do so little in comparison. Is it worth it?
Then, a friend from a local organization posted this video to facebook. I sat on my bed and cried as I watched it.
It isn't a gavel and a black robe...
it's setting the world to rights.
It's fixing what's broken
it's crushing Strife.
It's restoring genuine humanness
and being an ambassador of light.
Because God was willing to die
to set this world right.
So - let that be our cry and why
WE GIVE OUR LIFE."
I sat there, with tears rolling down my cheeks and still had that one question, WHY? Why God? Why won't you fix this? I believe You have the power. You say you love these people even more than I do. And then it hit me again...He has given US authority. I know this, but we all need to be reminded. He has chosen to live and work IN and THROUGH US! I believe that there are too many of us who just don't care. God's original design was more than enough for everyone. If we all cared. But, if we are honest, we are selfish. We are comfortable. We've never been on the other side to understand what it feels like, or even seen those who are suffering. We are sheltered. We can go into our homes, close our doors and forget about it. But - if we TRULY believed that God's power and authority lived inside of us through the Holy Spirit - just imagine what this world would look like. I believe our works would match our faith. We SAY we believe God is powerful. We SAY we believe he is loving.
"I know there are some among you who are so full of themselves they never listen to anyone, let alone me. They don’t think I’ll ever show up in person. But I’ll be there sooner than you think, God willing, and then we’ll see if they’re full of anything but hot air. God’s Way is not a matter of mere talk;
it’s an empowered life."
1 Corinthians 4:19-20 The Message (MSG)
Ouch. But AMEN! It's an EMPOWERED life! How exciting. We are empowered through the Holy Spirit to see and love and give and change lives. No matter where we are, we are called to this same thing - "we are God's agents of reconciliation - the Church is plan A - there is no plan B."
Doing good things because they benefit YOU. Or using good causes to build your platform.
Bringing heaven to earth and loving your neighbor no matter how much it hurts.
We will continue to ask ourselves those same questions, like we always do. But, I think it's a good thing...always evaluating what you're doing and where you are. In the end, it all comes down to where God wants you to be. It doesn't mean it will be easy, comfortable, or glamorous.
Be Encouraged. Do your part. Make an effort to notice others. Look up - don't get so focused on yourself, and your to-do list that you fail to see those around you. Add value to someones life with an interaction this week. Realize what is important and what really matters - be love to someone, show compassion. Smile. Show others that they matter and that you care...even if it means you have to sacrifice something that hurts a little. Be light in the ever present darkness.
Darkness is LOSING, Jesus is MOVING.
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it."