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A Simple Saturday

September 10, 2011

Waves lap gently on the beach as the pink wash fades from the evening sky.  The benign air is filled with the love song of cicadas.

It has been a quiet day, a simple day.  The Rollings are spending the weekend with friends in Port-au-Prince, so I have been alone, or as alone as circumstances here allow.  The guard is an ever-present entity.  A few of our workers were in today to pour some filters and they were especially raucous; I love to hear their happiness as they work.  There were people squealing happily as they played in the ocean, and people calling out to one another as they passed by on the footpath that bisects our property.  But I enjoyed my aloneness.

I puttered.  I did a bit of cleaning in my house, did my laundry, put a few more things away.  I read a bit more of my book.  I answered a few emails and checked out Facebook.  I made myself a very simple meal of rice and water with lime.  I took my cleaver, badly damaged by someone’s inept attempt at sharpening, out to the work yard, reshaped it on the grinder and brought it to a passable edge.  I would have liked to produce a keener edge, but somehow I neglected to bring my sharpening stones back from Canada.

I thought a lot.   I thought about all the people who care about me, pray for me, and encourage me with their emails and comments on my blog.  I thought about the people here, their lives hemmed in by poverty, but still spilling forth song and laughter.  I thought about the love God has given me for the Haitian people and how much I delight in them.  I thought about how I could grow thorns on my tongue if I were to speak about some of the things I see here.  I thought about how small what I am doing is in the grand scheme of things.  I thought about how certain I am that what I am doing is exactly what I am meant to do.  I thought about the profound peace I have here even when circumstances are very trying; I know that is not of me, but of God.  I thought about Him and His amazing love and kindness to me.

I thought about what I write in my blog, and what I don’t write.  I thought about the power of words, especially in the hands of one who can use them well.  I thought about the responsibility that brings.  I thought about what truth is.  I thought about Emily Dickinson’s words.  I thought about how the Bible testifies to the truth of her words.


Tell all the Truth but tell it slant –

Success in Circuit lies

Too bright for our infirm Delight

The Truth’s superb surprise 

As Lightning to the Children eased

With explanation kind

The Truth must dazzle gradually

Or every man be blind –

                              – Emily Dickinson


I have always been a lover of poetry and literature.  Since I was a child I could never get enough of classic works of fiction that focus on the hard questions of life and death, the immortality of the soul, or the salvation of man.  I believe my immersion in literature enabled me to read the Bible as the story of God’s redemptive work in the world and in my life, rather than as a collection of somewhat unrelated narratives.  Reading poetry and literature always drives me back to the Gospel.  The authors’ ideas and the stories and characters they have created interweave with my own experience of a world filled with brokenness, impelling me to delve into my Bible to seek out answers to the questions thus provoked, to refine my understanding of the message therein, and to find over and over again my hope in Jesus and His work.

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