12 January 2016

remembering

It's only the second day of school, true.

But this morning classes were put on hold all the same and we gathered in the chapel instead, no ties, no shiny shoes.

As if Leme needed a day set apart to remember his father, buried under the hotel where he worked to provide for Leme and his mother and sister...As if he doesn't remember every day.

As if Rose, moaning and rocking her way through chapel yesterday, needed a day set apart to remember her daughter, buried alive and never found, all mama's phone calls unanswered.  forever.

200,000 people in one day, the earthquake took.  I'll never be abel to wrap my mind around that.   The only way you realize how many people that is is by the fact that every single person you meet lost someone.  Everyone in Haiti lost someone that day.  They remember.

Sandra stood up this morning and declared, as she does each January 12th, "I praise God, because six years ago I was sitting in class with fifty other men and women, and that evening, only two of us were alive.  Only me and my friend sitting next to me.  He saved my life, I remember today, I thank Him."

Phida stood up and shared her bizarre dream of an earthquake greater still to come, His return, and the urgent message, "We must be going out and doing all that we can to make sure that EVERYONE has heard the Gospel, make Him known in every place."

Leme didn't stand at all.  He didn't say anything.  But public tears are so so very rare in Haiti, and his utterly undo my heart.

Belony, ever the pastor in every way, read the comfort of the Truth, the comfort only the Truth can give.  Shared the Hope of our Savior, the Hope only our Father can give.

He reminded us that there is a place alongside the Father, a glorious place of no tears and no pain, for each of His children.  Belo noted that that place is very hard to remember when we are homeless.  That it is easy to forget our eternal place when we are bleeding.

We mustn't forget, he urged.  We must keep our eternal perspective and by doing so, we might continually praise the Lord.

So today, six years out, we remember.

I remember where my feet were standing, where my heart was emptied, taking these pictures. We remember the many who died.  We remember the many who suffered and the many who suffer still.  We remember the many who knew Him and the many who did not.  The many who still do, the many who still don't.

And we remember that He is good, and that this world--with all it's shaking--is not our home.



















4 comments:

  1. ❤️ We will always remember

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  2. Also remembering the joyous day before - and thankful for EBS and the Saccanville campus that God is using to transform Haiti Cherie

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  3. Praying each heart would be met with comfort today.

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  4. When reading your post I was struck by the beauty of communal grief. Of course no one needs a reminder of their loss, no one forgets such a tragedy, no one ever forgets the loss of a family member, or house, or whole community. But what we do need is space to remember together, to have our grief acknowledged, to speak our stories of loss, one more time. We need to be allowed to cry in public, to feel that our grief will not be ridiculed, but instead protected and held and respected. When we are lost in the wasteland of grief, long after the funerals and long after the stories are fresh, we need reminders that others remember, that we are not alone in our grief, that our grief is not forgotten. Others may not feel the loss in the same way, day in and day out, they may even forget about our loss and suffering for a couple hours or days or months - but when we gather to mourn collectively, to remember we reaffirm each others' humanity: yes, you have lost, and I will stay with you, as long as it takes to grieve. We will gather together, and cry, and share, and process, as many years as it takes, we will not force you to hold your grief alone or pretend that it is finished, but we will pause to remind you that we are here to carry it with you.

    I wish such a thing could happen everywhere...

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