So, you remember my post a while back about "Dirty is why we are here?"
That was so powerful and inspiring to me, to see the students insist on scooping up twisted and filthy children, sharing with the staff that they came to love on the kids and get dirty, not to stay clean and comfortable.
You have such happy times and memories and feelings of home, and have spoken so many times about the joys of living and ministering in Haiti...and you forget. Forget how broken she is.
You get so used to being in the middle that you kind of lose that sick pit in your heart over the reality, kind of forget how desperate so much is, see everything through the rosy perspective of relationships.
But when you've been gone a bit and come home, just the stark contrast from hours before in Miami to hours later in Cap-Haitien, it almost renders you speechless. Was it this bad before? Was life this hard always? How DOES everyone make it? How does ANYONE make it? Why is life so so so hard in Haiti? Why ARE the roads so bad, why doesn't anything work, why don't we have a president? Why do we have so much in one country and have so little in a country so close by? Why don't all the kids get to go to school? Why are we the only homes in Saccanville that have a SINK? A sink! Was it always this hot? This dry? This hard?
And why do WE live where everything is so hard when we don't have to?
And then we went to church on Sunday ready to worship together and be encouraged, "Ah yes, this is it! THIS is why we're here! Hallelujah!", and instead truly suffered through what was the one of the worst experiences of our time in Haiti.
Not because the church was a million degrees or because the roads were terrible or because the service was hours long, but because the pastor, who admitted he hadn't prepared a message, handed the service instead over to a woman who had a "testimony" to share, who then spent over an hour speaking of fear and darkness, magic and voodoo, manipulation and curses, blocking the whole church from the Gospel, UNinteruppted, muttering and declaring complete and utter dramatic foolishness and darkness, and then closing the service.
I hate telling you about it. I hated being there. We were ready to take our 15 people and leave in the middle, but were concerned of offending our dear friend...only to realize at the end that she had already LEFT because she said she couldn't stand to sit in the celebration of such darkness when their was LIGHT to be found and preached and read.
What a discouraging Sunday morning. What a discouraging Sabbath to share with (and try to explain) to our visitors. What a discouraging punch to the already sick gut over all that is broken and wrong, corrupt and twisted, heartbreaking and heavy.
Matt and I couldn't help asking ourselves in the middle, "What ARE we doing here?"
I wonder if Jesus ever wondered it when HE came? Such a stark contrast! Such brokeness, so much not the way it should be, could be. So much awful that He didn't HAVE to.
And as quickly as it surfaced, He settled me with a quiet reminder.
Dirty is He came.
Broken is why He came.
Not for the healthy, but for the sick.
Not for the full, but for the hungry.
And dirty is why we came, too, struggling hard with all our might just to be faithful.
We are here, Christians, because church is NOT what it's supposed to be. We are here, followers, because the world is not love and light. We are here, brothers and sisters, because. it. is. dirty.
And He is not.
Because it is dark.
And even darkness is not dark to Him. (Psalm 139:12)
Just as the students didn't go to the children's home to be clean and comfortable, we didn't come to Haiti because the roads were nice and the internet worked and the preaching was powerful.
We didn't even come because the roads were bad or the people poor or the preaching terrible.
We came because He called. And because we trust Him to meet us in the sweaty dirty.
Oh, that we might make Him known. That we might be a reflection of His holiness, of His purity, of His light and peace and hope and joy and all things UNwordly.
Maybe you're in a similar place of discouragement today, because it's just simply NOT supposed to be like this. Not how it's supposed to be. Really hard. Really broken. Really dirty. Really bad.
Maybe it's your family. Maybe it's your kids. Maybe it's your job. Maybe it's your church. Maybe it's your marriage. Maybe it's your mission field.
Don't be there because it's easy. And don't be there because it's hard. Be there because He's called you there, and let us trust Him, together.
When we are down in the dirt, washing broken dirty feet...He is already there.