Sunday, August 11, 2013

why i'm taking my 5 year old to haiti


dear lucy,

the last time you boarded a plane it was to visit 'the happiest place on earth'.  
you had your first glimpse at larger than life mice with big plastic grins.  
you strolled the perfectly swept streets, past the perfectly manicured lawns, listening to perfectly delightful music that played like a theme song to your perfect life.  
when the sun beat down heavy we escaped into cool buildings where neatly dressed people smiled warmly and offered you an ice cream bar with chocolate ears.  you gobbled it up until only a stick remained.  
you tasted adventure on those whirling rides as the wind swept through your tiny curls.  
but there was one you asked to board again...and again...

you slid onto that bench next to me as the boat rocked gently in the water.  your eyes were wide with wonder as we lurched forward and fell into the current of the river that would take us around the world.

it's a world of laughter,
a world of tears.
it's a world of hopes,
and a world of fears...


and indeed it is.

on that first trip you saw one wondrous and magical part of this world we call home...but there's another side of this small world you need to see too my small girl.
in the part of the world just north of the caribbean sea the magic is dark with voodoo and witch doctors, instead of castles and fairies...  
but hope shines bright in the smiles of children who know what real royalty is...as heirs to the King.
dust will blanket your feet as you walk rocky paths covered in trash, instead of spotless sidewalks lined with flowers...
but being that close to the dust will remind us where we came from...all of us...created by the same hands.
you won't be offered an air conditioned reprieve from the heat, complete with a fancy ice cream bar...
but grace-filled people will open the doors of their hearts to share the bread of life which satisfies the deepest hunger.

my sweet girl, the plane we board today has a different destination than the last.  
but i pray you'll find happiness there too...where the ocean laps onto the pebble-covered shores washing away death and destruction to make room for new life.
today we leave for haiti...you and i.

behind us we leave all the ridiculous comforts of this wealthy north american life we live.
oh i can't wait for you to leave it all behind.

i can't wait for your blind eyes to see that this world is so much bigger than the suburban castle you live in and that God's love reaches to depths you never dreamed existed.
i can't wait for your heart to show you that with your position comes responsibility.
i can't wait for you to respond to the invitation to join this esther generation so that even now...at five years old...you will have the courage to set people free by your sacrifice.

i can't expect this shift in your spirit to take place here...
where there are grassy lawns and paved roads as far as the eye can see.
where a pantry sits stocked full of food right there within arm's length.
where baskets overflow with toys...and closets overflow with clothes.
where water flows free and clear out of five different faucets for this one family of four.
where you curl up in peace on a bed filled with fluffy friends and soft blankets.

this corner of the world you're leaving and the one you'll soon find are vastly different, but don't forget...

there is just one moon and one golden sun 
and a smile means friendship to everyone.
though the mountains divide, 
and the oceans are wide...
it's a small world after all.

with a God so big...this world is really so very small.  
our friends one thousand miles away are just as much our neighbors as the ones next door.

there's so much that we share...and it's time you're aware...

{i hope you'll join me as i go to #haitiwithlucy to serve alongside our friends at MOH!}