An excerpt from my journal- from my recent time spent in Haiti.
Thursday 21 March
It is about 6:45 in the morning and I am sitting of the roof with Sarah, soaking in the sights and sounds. I have a new mosquito bite and I did not sleep well at all but I am looking at the most beautiful sunrise and I know that this- whatever personal distress I am finding myself in right now- shall pass.
The sun is low to my right and ablaze is the only appropriate description. This happens in the sunsets too and I am literally mesmerized as it burns the truest orange I have ever seen, turning the light blue skies and soft low white clouds to various shades of pink, yellow, and orange. Even the larger clouds of gray, which kissed our skin with foreign rain late last night, do not escape unscathed. The gray is not fully washed out, though- yet, still reflects the sun, now a more golden yellow, in remote brilliancy. I hope that the flashing spots in my vision mean that this view has been burned in my memory, if only to be an encouraging reminder during the unyielding Seattle gray that I will undoubtedly be returning to shortly.
The sun on the gray clouds reminds me, in my state of personal unease, of the human condition. We are broken. We know too much- too much sin and pain, even if we do not choose to know it. Sometimes we are subjected to it by people who are supposed to love us and protect us. Sometimes it is all that is on the news. To feel hurt and sadness is inevitable, innate to the world we have been born into. We hurt others and hurt ourselves and let ourselves be hurt by others. We become prisoners to this vicious cycle. When we feel hurt by others, we withhold grace and love from them- which only disables us from moving forward. Oftentimes, we withhold love from ourself, which makes us unable to accept love from others. It is so silly and convoluted, and yet the answer to all of this confusion/ sadness/ pain/ loneliness is so simple: love.
We can use our pain and hurt to relate to each other. To sympathize with another human. To empathize with another one of God’s beautiful creations. With His love we can be filled and then outpour to our brothers and sisters, and find out we are not the only ones who feel lonely and sad or guilty because of this or that. Through our darkness we can reflect a much greater light- like the Haitian sunrise on the gray rainclouds.
I may not be well, but I am content. In everything I get to do here, I am so pleased and grateful.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
It is now April 17th, almost a month since I left for that beautiful country. I am still processing my time there. I am still mostly content, but I still get lost in my sad and lonely feelings. I am still learning how to love. I am asking you to bear with me.