Monday, October 10, 2011

there is some Good in this world and it is worth fighting for

The benefit of being totally unorganized is that when you go to find something, you end up finding other things. 

Among the stacks of papers we sorted through we found a few saved letters of encouragement from past years.  The words of love and hope and truth were every bit as touching the second time around. I can say this confidently based on the fact that involuntary tears streamed down my face reading a letter from 30 months ago.

During one particularly difficult time, probably the only time we ever truly came close to giving up on this Haiti thing, we got a letter from Spirit Lake, Iowa ...

In part it said this:

We are fans of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Do you remember the scene at the end of The Two Towers, where Frodo was almost slain by a Nazgul, but narrowly escaped due to Sam's rescue? Frodo was exhausted, and Sam reminded him of their small but important place in the over-arching story being played out around them.

"It's me! It's your Sam! Don't you know your Sam?"

"I can't do this..."

"I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But, we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. Sometimes you didn't want to know the end, because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was, when so much bad had happened?

But in the end it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines, it'll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something, even if you were too small to understand 'why?' ...

But I think, Mr Frodo, I do understand. I know now that folks in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't.  They kept going because they were holding on to something."

"What were they holding on to, Sam?

"That there is some Good in this world, and it is worth fighting for."
 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"So, dear ones, without knowing what your burdens are, and though I am completely unaware of your present moment in the long and dangerous and often dark watches of this journey, I can tell you with confidence that "there is some Good in this world, and it is worth fighting for".   

The letter shared other personal stories and closed with "The warmth of His firm embrace waits for you on the other side of this present darkness. We continue to pray for you."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Reading those words last night brought me back to that time.  I remember waking up and feeling like a rock had been placed on my chest.  The letter reminded me of the ways Jesus showed up again and again to touch us in our pain and grief ...  And ultimately to begin to heal us.  It reminded me that when we see people in pain and when we are stronger than them, it is our job to literally hold them up with prayer and love and encouragement and words filled with truth they may be too tired to hold in the moment. To remind them again. And again.

I think of a two couples that we love dearly that have had an incredibly tough twenty-eleven and I  am grateful to be reminded on their behalf that this shadow, it's only a passing thing ... And to pray with them for the sunshine of a new day.

Newer friends of ours are going through an especially difficult time. The Dorrells had recently moved to northern Haiti when Seth was diagnosed with cancer. 
This diagnosis was (and is) obviously devastating, but on top of fighting cancer they had to relocate once again to TX for treatment.  Their hearts ache to be back in Haiti but for the next many months they'll be working at beating cancer.

Will you join us and pray for Seth, Sarah, and Finley Dorrell.

"It should be the work of Christians who believe in the paschal mystery to help people when they are being led into the darkness and the void. The believer has to tell those in pain that this is not forever; there is a light and you will see it. This isn't all there is. Trust. Don't try to rush through it; we can't leap over our grief work. nor can we skip over our despair work. We have to feel it." 
-Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs