As soon as we walked in, Lily pulled my hand and whispered, "Mom, EVERYTHING in here is SO smooth. This church is REALLY smooth."
Worshipping in English while everyone else worshiped in English, too, was special, really special. Songs I didn't have to search for in our rainbow of Haitian Hymnal, words I didn't need to read to know, to sing, to worship.
Trying to explain to the girls why the man preaching was on a screen preaching at a different location and not really there, but actually a real preaching person and not a movie? Not so easy.
Trying to explain to the girls that the kid section of benches they were looking for was actually not IN the room with everyone else, but outside in a different kid room, also not easy.
Lily was also hoping I could explain the beard-beard-everywhere thing. But, someone else will have to help me out there. She thought maybe it's because everyone's faces are colder here?
Also trying to explain why the services in Haiti DON'T come with tables of coffee and snacks was not simple...Lil and Sof think churches with doughnuts are a very good idea.
How interesting it was, for us, as the man on the screen preached on a reality Matt has preached on many times in Haiti. Can't avoid it in ANY culture, suffering. What to do with it. How to deal with it. Where God is in the midst of it.
His versions of suffering were true and deep. All suffering issues no first nor fifth world have found a way to solve...divorce, rebellious children, cancer, car accidents, tragedy.
Matt's examples of suffering are true and deep, too...always focusing more on hunger. Unexplained sickness and no medical care. Death, poverty, disease. Starvation. Homelessness. Orphans. Corruption and injustice.
But either way, it is suffering, and I found myself identifying with ALL of it. Yet how we think about God in the midst of it is what matters. How we choose fear or trust.
The man on the screen was spot on...God is good in the midst. God is there in the midst. Anything we have to bargain with is already His anyway. There are no lines in the sand before the Lord...just abandonment. Just trust. No untouchables. Nothing to be kept or protected by ourselves.
Nothing smooth. Not really. Not anywhere.
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust you
How I've proved you over and over
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus
Oh for grace to trust you more.