What a day! Just like I said, yesterday, we spent the first 3+ hours of the day working on the house… and the main job was either carrying the 40 lbs buckets of rock and sand up and down crazy terrain or doing some very hard core, yet tedious job of sifting through that same sand/rock combo, it was once again a great team building time, that left me with a crazy looking sun burn. Finally lunch came and we broke for the Baptist mission, which was also the end of our work day, as the rain began to fall, thus causing for unworkable conditions back at the house. So, plan B. We took off to Pastor Jean Alix church, which is also a school, and a boys home. Plan B, was a great way to end the “working day” – the first thing we did, was to see well digging in action, a well, that a young church plant called, Remedy Church funded. It was pretty cool being a part of simply seeing two of the pastors from Remedy experience all of that and simply hang out with the locals that the well was going to provide for.
From there we walked over to the boys home and for many of us, that is when the real fun began, many of
the guys entered in pick up games of basket ball. Jill, Shonna, and Beverly were eaten up by the kids and their beautiful faces. There was much laughter, running, playing, pictures, singing, and joy… it was a much needed breath of fresh air to hang out and play with the kids of the school and the home. However, in all of that, today was also a strong reminder of two things: (1) the importance of a life lived well and (2) the frailty of human life.
Two phone calls were received from our families back home, one from Shonna’s husband Trace, letting her know that her grandfather had passed away – bottom line, whether you were expecting his passing or not, that is not an easy phone call to receive when you are 1,000 miles away, unable to be with your family and your children who looked up to this man. Later that day, I received a phone call, that my grandfather was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. My grandfather has spent the last and half trying to recover from a brain surgery that successfully removed a tumor – he’s had to relearn how to walk, he had to see many of his dreams shut down in front of him, and basically become a helpless man, unable to
do the things he used to do, only to find out, that once again, his body was saying, “I’m done, and not matter how hard you fight, you can’t win.” So, what can you take away from this kind of news. Obviously, you can’t change their situation, it is what it is, you can mourn, you can cry, you can remember their lives well and the influence they may have had, but it would be a waste to not allow the idea of human frailty and the reality that death is coming for us all, to motivate us even more to live life well.
Last night, in a moving conversation about the trip thus far, Marlow said, “my wife and I have decided, that we are going to live full throttle for the orphan, so much so, that our last breath will be given for them, we want to crash into eternity because we gave our last breath for the orphan… ” Isn’t this what Paul was saying, when he said, ‘I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.'” Most of that verse is usually seen as Paul’s courage to live, and then the death part is kind of passed over, but if you think about it, it is kind of a “going out in a blaze of glory text” or as Marlow would say, “a crashing into eternity” text. We often see death as what happens after we have lived our life, for the Christian death is what happens when our life is done glorifying God, in order to pass us from life to the next. But that is not what Paul is saying, Paul is saying, “I will pour out my life, I will give my very breath to do what God has called me to do, I will forsake all so that my life lived well and fully for his glory, and but I won’t stop then when I am knocking on death’s door, in fact, I’m going to look at death as my last act to glorify God, so, hold on, because here we go!”
I wonder what life may be like, how different it would be, if we really believed that eternity was the goal, as opposed to anything we
could gain here, what wouldn’t we exhaust ourselves for? What if we asked ourselves, “based on the life God has given me, based on what God has called me and my family to do, what is the most God glorifying death I could have as I plunge into eternity?” I have to be honest, right now, in my life, that thought is a bit morbid and a bit unnerving, and seems a bit weird to blog about while on a Haiti trip, but c’mon, after getting Shonna’s call, my call, and then being in the midst of what we see here in Haiti, it’s pretty difficult not to focus on it… We are frail, we are going to die, it is going to happen, fight it all you want, you will loose that fight, so if we know that… Might we aim our life in such a way, that we ‘crash into eternity’ because we have exhausted ourselves for the glory of God – my friends, I believe, that is a life well lived…