Thursday, June 25, 2009


Tomorrow after Thursday's prenatal class we will break the news to a young woman that her lab work returned with the devastating news that she is HIV + Beth had hoped to share this with her last week but with a big team in and lots of chaos the timing was not right.

Sometimes the heavy things in Haiti are mind-numbing. Often I find I don't even know how to pray. Praying "Help her accept the news" is about all I could come up with today as I thought about how odd it is that tomorrow her entire life as she knows it will change.

When we were out in Cazale earlier this month I bent down over an older boy laying on a cot. He was bruised, swollen, tiny for his age and mentally delayed. Without any forethought I caught myself praying God would just allow his misery to end - I prayed "Take this boy to Heaven Lord". It surprised me to hear it coming out of my own mouth.

It was a very odd moment for me when I was talking to the boy and telling him that many people love him. I started to list them. "I love you, Licia loves you, Mr. Zach loves you ..." I realized that when I got to "Jesus loves you" it felt empty to say. It is so difficult for me to declare to a person in incredible suffering that Jesus loves them. Yet I know that He does.

That whole problem of suffering always messes with me and I find myself stuck in those places where I feel uncertain of what I know.

"Jesus loves you SO MUCH but this life is totally unfair and I hate that for you" ---- is the new "Jesus loves you".

Sometimes people get really worried about me/us when we share these private thoughts and feelings. Some worry our faith is weak, we've lost our way, or even that we never knew what way we were headed in the first place if we could so easily doubt something as basic as the love of our Savior.

We are okay with sharing private thoughts and risking that judgment because we trust that God understands where we are. In the struggle - we may not always be growing, but we are always engaged and wrestling with Him. We are trying to find His answers and His peace in the suffering of the world. We want our answers to be real, fought for, thought out, tested, and full of mercy and grace toward the suffering. That beats the heck out of empty religious verbatim answers that can be spit out on demand.

I find myself more and more unmoved? turned off? discouraged? by pat responses coming from people who have every last thing all figured out. I'm getting comfortable with this reality - God is in the struggles too.