Eyes on the Prize

I can’t sleep. I toss and turn in my unbelievably comfortable, queen-size bed. I roll off my bed and walk up my nice, carpeted floors to the kitchen. I grab a glass out of my cupboard, fill it with water, and sit down at the table. My mind is wandering as I go back downstairs and eventually fall asleep.

This is what most of my nights are like. Because lately, there have been some things on my heart that are troubling me. They are things that are difficult to explain, but I’m going to try:

1.) The hurt of this world.

Sometimes I feel as if I’m only seeing the hurt of this world, instead of the joyful and amazing things going on, too. The thing about this world is: we never know how long we will be on it. That’s why we need to make each day count. Bad things happen, and nobody knows why. But trust God that there is a reason. This verse from Romans 5 has always comforted me about the hurt of this world:

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.    

2.) Our numerous blessings.

When I was in Haiti, I saw the poorest of the poor. They live in tin huts the size of my bed. Sometimes they get so hungry, they resort to eating dirt. They sleep on the muddy, worm-infested ground at night. I live in a nice, large house with running water and a fully-stocked pantry. Whatever I want is right at my fingertips. But spiritually, people like the Haitians are rich beyond their wildest dreams. They live each day completely and wholly for God. From that outlook, I’m the one living in a tin hut eating mud pies.

3.) Distractions.

iPads. Playstations. Flatscreen TVs. Wherever we look, we are bombarded with more and more distractions from God. We all know the story of Peter walking on the water towards Jesus. He jumps out of the boat and continues to walk, keeping his eyes on Jesus. But sometimes he looks down and gets distracted. He loses Jesus and starts to drown. It’s the same with us and our life. We need to keep looking up and finding God everyday, living Out of the Ordinary.

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A Post in Poem

Haiti

A country so poor, yet so hopeful, too

The people appreciate everything

They love what they have more than me or you

 Haitians are so faithful, on the streets, they sing

***

Although seventy percent are jobless

The Haitians make the most of what they own

And although their things will never be spotless

 They remind themselves they are not alone

  ***

The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere

Haiti is very resourceful indeed

This country is actually fairly near

Don’t be afraid to reach out and help those in need

  ***

They might not have a huge house, a job, or a car

But they are great people and they love who they are

Those First Few Moments

It was 3:00 am on January 17, 2013. I heard my mother’s voice, “Lydia, wake up. It’s time to go.” I leaped out of bed. I hadn’t slept a wink the past night. Today was the day. The day I went to Haiti. We gathered our things, rushed to the Fort Lauderdale airport, and soon we were in the air.

I was nervous. I didn’t know what to think. Both of my parents had gone to Haiti before. But not me and my sister. A couple hours later, I heard the pilot speaking on the intercom, “We are now beginning our descent.” I gulped. It suddenly felt as if someone had poured hot lava in my stomach.

But then, I saw the glittering ocean, the beautiful mountains with thousands of huts, the tent cities. I knew soon I would see the poor, the naked, the hungry, the sick. I felt overwhelmed already. I wanted to help them all.

A jolt woke me out of my thoughts. We had landed. I squeezed my mother’s hand, and she squeezed back.

Our ride to the house was a truck with an open back and no seat belts. We quickly passed by groups of Haitians, makeshift shops, and other examples of Haitian ingenuity. Most people would yell out “Blanch! Blanch!” (“White! White!”) as we passed by. I just couldn’t stop staring at everything. This culture was so unlike my own. For example, it is respectful to the Haitian culture for women to wear skirts, dresses, or pants below the knees. (Though I do have to admit, the skirts are so comfortable, and I was totally rocking them!!)

We neared Simonette, and I still was in awe. Like, for security, Haitians put broken glass on the top of their gates. The roads were extremely bumpy, and they would give a baby one serious case of SBS (Shaken Baby Syndrome)!

A couple minutes from the house, Kayla Grooters came up behind us riding a four-wheeler. I couldn’t help but wave. We reached the house and one thought was going through my mind: “Is this what Heaven is like?” The house bordered the ocean, and it looked magnificent. A lady was hand washing the laundry in the outdoor shower. I can barely explain how beautiful it all was. I explored the house and learned that I would go see the playground soon.

And I would just keep thinking: “Is this what Heaven is like?”