Thursday, May 24, 2012
So many things...
Change… Tonight I was recalling an event that happened yesterday. I paused and had to be sure—was it only YESTERDAY that we did our water truck delivery? How could only one day have passed and yet I have changed so much? Who could have told me even one day ago that today I’d be rubbing lotion over the bodies of sick and dying women of all ages ranging from younger than my own daughters to women older than myself and be completely comfortable with it? And how could I have known I would have the opportunity to visit a school that my beloved late uncle helped to fund and see 625 smiling faces of children, being taught in classroom settings that are primitive compared to what we are accustomed to at home and they were thrilled to meet us? I visited a medical clinic so far behind United States standards that there was no comparison, but yet I found myself truly impressed with what they DO with what little they have. And finally, that I would go to an orphanage filled with so many sick and dying babies, hold them in my arms and feed them and love them and somehow be able to walk away broken-hearted at the end of the day only comforted by the fact that I WILL be back to see them again?
Everything about today was so detached from my “real” world but yet so completely comfortable for me to do in the world I live in here in Haiti.
I think our Lord is allowing me to experience this knowing that I will go home a “changed” person. My picture of what Father Reiser saw here in Haiti, what moved him, and what inspired him to want to help these people is so much more clear to me. The importance of what we are doing at Reiser Relief has deepened. My interest in continuing Father’s mission has turned into a passion to continue. We ARE needed here in Haiti.
My word for today is SERVANT. We started the day riding to a home for dying and destitute adults. The plan was for us to rub lotion on the arms and legs of dying women while our talented Creole guides sang hymns of praise. They were warming up their act on our way there, and they soon started singing Fr. Resier’s favorite hymn in Creole: “How Great Thou Art.” What an excellent moment. I couldn’t help but remember the beautiful final verse that we sang around Fr. Reiser’s bedside shortly after he entered eternity: “When Christ shall come, with shouts of acclamation, to take me home, what joy shall fill my heart. Then I shall bow, in humble adoration, and there proclaim, My God, How Great Thou Art!” What a humble servant of God; Fr. Reiser lived to serve others. It set the tone for our day.
God used me today to serve the dying. With massage, prayer, touch, smiles, and some very awkward singing in Creole, I knelt before these women and offered what I could to ease their journey. While serving them my mind wandered back to Holy Thursday service where, like Jesus, we kneel before each other and wash feet. It was beautiful to hear (those who were strong enough) sing along with great joy and enthusiasm.
God used me today to serve children. We toured Terre Promise School, and came to learn and understand the needs they have and how Reiser Relief can better serve them.
God used me today to console those who were crying. We finished our day by visiting a home for sick and dying children. I held and comforted babies who wanted nothing more than love and attention. I fed babies who were hungry. I cried over babies who at 12, 18 and 22 months were skinnier than most newborns. The Sisters do an incredible job of caring for these little ones, but the needs are so great.