Thursday, May 24, 2012

My word for today is RESILIENCY

My word for today is RESILIENCY.  Today we drove to Reiser Heights; a school that Reiser Relief supports.  It is in the mountains above Port-au-Prince, so I was able to take in the beautiful Haitian countryside and even catch a couple of ‘cool’ breezes.

On our way to Reiser Heights (we rode in the back of a pick up part of our way there…brought me back to my farm days!), I noticed a woman with one leg begging for help from passing drivers.  And I was struck that this was the first ‘beggar’ I have seen in Haiti.  I truly see more beggars in downtown Minneapolis than in Port-au-Prince and Cite Soleil.  The Haitians have an incredible resiliency that I am coming to admire.  If a building is too structurally damaged to use, they pitch a tent along side it and set up shop or housing on the same land.  If they need to make money, they find something, ANYTHING, to sell or peddle.  If they need to pitch a pile of rocks into a dump truck and they don’t have a bobcat, they use a shovel.  If they don’t have electrical lines to their home, they string their own.  If they don’t have tillable land on which to grow crops, they grow them on hillsides, in pots and in crevices.   If they can’t afford a butcher, they butcher on their own right in the street.  If there is no seat on the bus, they hang off the back.  If they don’t have a chainsaw, they use and ax.  If they don’t have an ax they use a machete. They don’t wait for a hand out or assistance or aid or the Red Cross, they just make do. 

The kids at the school today had no electricity, no flushing toilets, no iPads, cell phones, white boards, and sometimes no paper or pencils.  But they are resilient.  They learn and make do with what they have.  We passed out candy and stickers, and the kids were so cute, sticking them to their hands, foreheads, tummies and noses.

There is something so incredibly refreshing in this resiliency.   I live in a world filled with regulations, protective services, social services, insurance, lawsuits, ordinances, judgments, laws and programs.   Not that any of this is bad; it makes us safer.  But does it make us too safe?   Does it make us dependent?   Does it make us reliant?  I’ll say this, it sure was fun to ride in the back of a pickup truck again, just like I used to do as a kid with the bull calves on our way to the Sales Barn. 

I read a beautiful devotion in a book today called “God is No Stranger.”
They say I am poor.
Thank you, Father.
May I also be poor in spirit,
  that I may inherit the kingdom of God.”

What kind of world would we live in if we all thanked God for everything that we view as a misfortune?



Similar to questioning as a little girl why Santa Claus didn’t bring Christmas presents to poor people, I’ve always questioned why God could allow for there to be poor people in the world.  Today, as we were driving up to Reiser Heights, a school founded by Father Reiser, I finally realized that God had not forgotten the people of Haiti.  As we climbed higher and higher into the hills of Haiti, God was everywhere.  He was in the clouds that formed around the tops of the mountains, He was in the lush green trees and plants that adorned the roadsides as we drove higher and higher, He was in the valleys lined with crops meticulously tended by hand, by Haitian hands, and when we finally arrived at Reiser Heights, He was in the eyes of the children that greeted us.  Sometimes it takes things less than perfect for us to be able to see what is truly good.  And today, God looked down on the world and saw that all was good.


No comments:

Post a Comment