Great question! As I write this I’m somewhere between Miami and LA. I missed my connection because the plane was late coming from Haiti. Imagine that.
The best I can do is offer some random thoughts and throw in a few pictures.
• It’s hard in your quiet moments not to be moved. The team of people I was with were a riot. We laughed a lot! But this was in context of being struck in spirit by what breaks the heart of God. Because of the missed connection, I’m flying by myself. The couple next to me, looking like they are heading home from a cruise, has their headphones on so I’m enjoying quiet. But every so often I have to deliberately keep myself from crying. Being “Mr. In-Touch-With-His-Emotions” like I am this is an odd thing for me. But, I keep thinking about what we saw, smelled, sensed and absorbed.
• SIN IS SEPARATION – The first sin had the effect of separating, of isolating, of estranging, man from God, husband from wife, brother from brother. That’s why the gospel of Jesus, the good news of His victory over sin is about reconciliation, about bringing the separated together. When Jesus comes into someone’s life God does a reconciling work. But the devil wars against us and perpetuates separation and estrangement based on what he does best lie. So, the devil wants to keep us feeling separate and isolated from our fellow man, from our brothers and sisters in Christ. He wants us to take a “out of sight out of mind” approach to the suffering people in Haiti. He wants us to not be PRESENT. That leads this stream of consciousness to another bend…
• PRESENCE – there is no substitute. Can you even have a “gospel” without presence? I think we totally screw with the kingdom of darkness when we break down barriers and are authentically present with the lost, the outcast, even one another, but especially with the poor and maybe more especially with the poorest of the poor. I don’t have it all figured out, but Adventures In Missions (click here) has a strategy that is basically, PRAY, GIVE, GO… some of us need to go there. All of us need to go somewhere.
• WE NEED THIS – This isn’t just for “them”. Maybe it’s not even primarily for them. Yes we can bless this land and God’s church there. We have. We will! But if we think that there is even a chance that Jesus was right in constantly saying that the poor are closer to the kingdom and that the rich (let’s face it that’s us, that’s…gulp…me) are in a sketchy place in relationship to the kingdom of God, do we not need to be somehow present for the sake of OUR OWN SOULS?
• On a very practical note, WHAT WILL NEXT WEEKEND LOOK LIKE? I’m not sure how I’m going to get back into the message. I need to give you Journey peeps a report, but I’m not ready to lay out a plan. Primarily because I don’t have it figured out yet. People are going to get back to us; we got to get back to them…so say I share a 5-minute report and a few thoughts. Can I just turn the page and say, “alright, let’s get going on the message”? Here’s a word of warning, those of you who had your heart set on UP, may be disappointed… I’m just saying…
• THANKS for praying, for giving some seed money to CHURCH-TO-CHURCH. Thanks for encouraging me not just in this little trip, but encouraging me to lead us to do something. I LOVE your responses to this blog and on Facebook. I don’t at all feel like I’m pushing us into something. I feel like you are anxious to make a difference to somehow, someway be present YOURSELVES and as a body.
• Ed’s Creole quiz: If you can figure out what these means and how it would be pronounced you get a prize. Meaning and phonetic pronunciation here or on Facebook. (There should be accents, but I can’t type Creole).
Bon Dieu Beni ou
Coman ou ye neg lekai
Mwen bezwen bwe bie
Sorry for the random thoughts. Feel free to add your own!