Monday, May 21, 2012

In A Moment

My husband, Ben has a beautiful way with words.  He's shared on my blog before about Tariku's adoptionour experience in Uganda and the poverty of our hearts.  Because of his line of work with orphans, he gets to travel quite a bit (insert fits of jealousy here). He just got back from his first trip to Haiti last week and it wrecked him.  He's seen a lot of poverty in a lot of different parts of the world, but there was something about Haiti.  He wrote the following thoughts while sitting at the airport on his way back and I thought they were too beautiful and powerful to keep to myself, so enjoy...

In a moment

Brilliant sparkling landscape.
Bare feet skitter with ticking sounds of life.

Fragrant scene breathed as a tiny hand extends to you.
But it is not as it seems.

Sparkling, yes, with the debris of a disposable existence.
Shattered bottles reflecting shattered dreams.
The bare feet of poverty covered in the mire, sore and bleeding;
Bloodied and infected with the disease of disparity and our ignorance.
Pungent rotting odor assaulting the senses like time-released death.
The decomposing detritus of stolen joy.
The hand trembles with fear and doubt.
"Am I as disposable as this garbage that feeds me?"
Can the child filled with waste believe that they are not the thing that they consume?

The hand finally reaches me as my eyes drift up the arm to the tattered shirt with peeling logo; the exposed shoulder from a shirt intended for a much larger child as it hangs to one side on her; the neck creased with lines that indicate the filth and sweat of someone working in the dirt. 
The chin that has quivered so many times with no one to comfort her, but the face is a paradox. Scars from hurts that will never be explained, creased brow betraying the gift of confusion that injustice gladly gives to so many. 

But the mouth, and the eyes... Oh the eyes! Incomprehensible.
Turned up corners in a mischievous smile, and the eyes, how they dance with delight.

It is now my brow that shows confusion.
Now I see it.  That second of  clarity; that moment so brief that in years to come I will question if it even happened.
I saw it all transformed. It is with her eyes that place is now seen.
The ground still sparkles but it now has a yellow hue that can only be precious metal.
The feet, no longer bleeding are clean and festooned with sandals and are no longer still.
Dancing.  Joyful dancing that starts in your belly, spreads to your head and feet resulting in broad full smiles and bouncing, turning and skipping.
The smell;  newness of life that makes you want to swaddle and draw her to your arms.
And the river strewn with garbage waste and stench, is the clean river of life.  The tree on the bank bearing fruit in its time with healing in its leaves.

And I know that it is only you, Jesus.  You are the one that turns the tears of the orphan into dancing.  You are the one that uses the lowly to shame the wise.  You that gives joy in impossible situations.  It is you that makes a way.

And it is gone. Back to difficulty. Back to filth and hardship. As we lock eyes, that crooked smile communicates the whole of existence.  Her eyes alight with You and it was not this place, but my very being that has been transformed.

1 comment:

  1. Ben - inspired words - spoken so beautifully on behalf of the hurting. We walk by faith, not by sight. Your writing revealed this. Praying for what is seen to come in line with what is unseen.