Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Photo of the Week...5.21-5.28

 photo PhotooftheWeek521-528_zpsc4620ff8.jpg 
My perspective was different than most everyone else.  From the front of the room I saw neutral-hued hands lifted high, the glory of God filling the place.  Four countries represented, one hundred and eighty chairs filled with people unified by international partnership.  Voices of every tone, many tongues, one language -- worship.

I believe with all my heart that God knew exactly what He was doing when He placed sound in our voice boxes, music in our souls.  He knew that for most, just words preached or hands clenched or eyes closed wouldn't be enough.  That song would bring Heaven to Earth, washing unending love and grace over His people.

I could hardly make out my own words as tears streamed from the corners of my eyes, down my reddened cheeks.  "How Great Thou Art" echoed into our ears, strengthened our cause, unified our hearts.  In that moment, as some sang in English, others in Spanish and Creole, I could feel a glimpse of the Eternal Home so many of us long for.

Some wept and some smiled, while others swayed their burdens away.  You could feel His peace, sweeping through a chilled conference room that has perhaps previously hosted weddings or business meetings.  But this night, at this hour, it was God's Temple.  A place where people gathered and were reminded of God's awesome power spanning into our troubled world.  If only for a moment, all pain, sorrow, troubles -- vanished.  If our souls could carry us, we may have lifted from the ground.

There is something indescribable about community, regardless of race, language or background.  As this broken world continues to struggle, emerge by its lonesome, we found something that night that binds and bonds.  God's ultimate redemption plan laid out for all to see through the thankful words of adoration to a Father who adores His children. 

How Great Thou Art, those words have healing power.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Photo of the Week...4/28-5/4

You can trace the lines on her face to the years of hardship she has endured.  Day after day, harvesting and sorting beans to sell in order to provide what little she can for her family.  In the early morning she sits below a sparcely-leaved tree, protecting herself from the already blazing sun.  It's her spot, hardly comfortable but its familiarity somehow comforting.

On every trip I've taken to Phaeton, I have wanted to take her picture.  But in Haiti, because of Voodoo, there are many adults who believe that by taking their photo you can steal their soul.  Other Haitians won't allow it because of the vast amount of "good-intentioned people" who come to Haiti, take photos of their living conditions and make promises to bring help, but then never do.  Something in me that day felt bold and I took a chance.  I'm glad I did.

There is something about her presence that completely captivated me.  Quiet and focused, yet her eyes soft and full of life.  A couple of little ones would often interrupt her diligent work by sitting on her lap and she never once seemed bothered or discontent with their continuous disruptions.

By the end of our trip she had made her way to where our group would gather at Pastor Lucner's house.  We had conjured up some good 'ol fashioned competition and were having races against each other.  She laughed heartily when we asked her to join in the fun.

There are just times in this season of my life where I am taken back by something seemingly ordinary that appears extraordinary to something deep in my soul.  And when I took the time to stop and gaze upon her aging face I saw grace, dignity and peace; all things I can only hope to aquire someday.