Friday, February 13, 2009

Haiti on my mind...

I can't sleep...and sleep is something that usually comes quite naturally to me. So, I decided to write, not for you, but for me...and if I publish this, you will get to listen to me ramble and test my thougts.
In 1999, Haiti changed Jen and me...we knew we would be back, not sure when, or how, but we knew. Now we've been back twice, and each time our hearts tug a little more, it feels a little more common, more like a second home. We look past the dirt, heat, sweat, smell, and begin to see people, faces, stories, opportunities. We've been given such a gift by visiting, the gift of perspective. But the gift is also a curse. Everything that we thought we knew, we realized we don't. Everything we took for granted now stares us in the face. It's not guilt that is bothering me, I'm over that, it's an urge to see the proof in my pudding, see my rubber meet the road, to have my nose on the grindstone...that sounded weird, but oh well, you get the point.
This evening I read that America has 4.5% of the world's population, yet uses 40% or more of the world's resources. That is staggering. I try to justify it, deny it, ignore it...but I can't. It's not THE issue, just evidence of deeper issues. We (as Americans) don't think outside of ourselves, and our worldview is so narrow and surreal, that we have fooled ourselves and numbed our minds to reality.
As usual, I digress. I'm not awake because I'm thinking about what America, nor Americans should do. I'm awake wondering what this American should do. Beyond that, what should this American Christian do? It's one thing to be an atheist American who lives for himself out of a belief system of being fit to flourish, it's another thing to believe what Jesus had to say and somehow try to reconcile it to our American culture. I used to think that this country was rich, but we did a lot of good with our riches. America contributes less than 0.4% of our federal budget to poor countries. We are second to last of the 22 industrialized nations. Again, I digress...probably because it's easier to talk about the faceless 'system' than it is to talk about this mug of mine.
So, Jen and I are asking big questions, wondering if there is a place in Haiti for us. Wondering if we have a role to play other than living in comfort while ignoring the rest of the world. Curious if there is more to life than earning a paycheck, paying the mortgage, planning for retirement, and staying entertained.
The nice part of it all is that while we are shifting in our seats, we're not in any rush. We're stable, and comfortable, waiting to see where God takes us on this adventure of life. We are open to the idea of working in or for Haiti, but not without wisdom, calling, and sober judgement.
Any thoughts?