Minute by minute, day by day life goes by. In every place on this earth, there are very, very few certainties. Life will begin and end as we know it, and time will go on. They are the things that you only bet on one side of the coin because we just know that they are true. Some people find a great deal of comfort in knowing what happens next and that a “predictable” life seems to be the one that may lead to the least heartache or will be the road traveled most easily. It becomes immediately obvious when you spend time in this place where God is working, that “easy” isn’t a word that rises to the top quickly.
As the saying goes, one traveler asked the other, “Why do you always choose the hard road?” The second, without skipping a beat replied “What makes you think I see two roads?”
Today if you paid close attention you saw that what really matters at the end of everything, no matter how hard the road traveled is or was, is that taking care of people is the very best thing we can do. Young children, elderly and those who have been called to eternal life all need to be cared for as best we can. We saw the light of hope in the side of a mountain carved out as a heaven called Grace Village. A place created to help the youngest among Haitians start their journey to an educated and invested life, so that, they can in turn create their own lives of success and lead their families to the same. It is a place designed to start, develop, educate and even reunite families to reach their greatest potential. With a scenic view that many on this earth would pay thousands of dollars a night to sleep by, a very small glimpse of the potential future of this amazing country and its people is taking shape. In the same space, a clinic designed to ensure the basic need of medical care sits so that those wanting to live a healthier life can get the attention they need and deserve. In the shadows of Grace, a start-up bakery that will soon feature goods created from Haitian products, by Haitian people. Each of these spaces and ideas designed to make sure that the beautiful people of this country can care and create their own destinies.
From there we moved to checking in on some of the elderly that Healing Haiti sponsors. Every culture views and cares for its elderly just a bit different. We watched today as a very young boy led an old man whose sight has been taken by the hand to his home in a manner that showed such compassion. It was an act that this boy could never know the true impact of and one that was unmistakably God’s work in his heart. Helping comfort this man and the woman we also spent time with you get the distinct impression that they know the end is much closer than their start. The certainty that life begins and ends isn’t something either of them seemed at all afraid of. Rather, the frail and beautiful smiles on their faces told you in no uncertain terms that they know what matters in the end. That being connected to another human in care and compassion is the period at the end of a sentence.
If the beginning of a life and the education and care of people to the success of that life is inspiring, our trip to the mass grave site resulting from the 2010 earthquake showed how God is present even in the tragic, unknown and unexpected events that sometimes leave us questioning and perhaps even angry with Him. We stood on the ground where the souls of over 300,000 Haitians were laid to rest and freed to eternal light. We heard from those who were here on the ground at the time the earth began to shake, how the chaos and panic led so many to their deaths. How homes crumbled on top of their owners and even a palace was turned into mere rocks and dust. How a country so overwhelmed with death understood that the only way to help life move forward was to create this one singular burial place for a number unthinkable to most anyone. In the midst of this time where the earth seemed to be so angry and panic was everywhere, we heard one man’s story of absolute faith. A faith that I have never even dreamed of experiencing. He spoke of seeing death, bodies, blood and people running all around him. He described in pinpoint detail lying on the ground and seeing the surface literally move in waves like a roller coaster. And then he said this. A statement that made my heart stop with both freedom and jealousy. He said that he heard people crying and screaming out to God, asking, pleading, and begging Him to save them. This man, with complete calm in his voice said that he did not exclaim to his creator, because he knew just as he was still breathing, God knew exactly where he was.
It’s the period at the end of a sentence. It is another of the certainties that you should add to your list. What matters in the end is taking care of people. Taking care of each other. It is a certainty just as life, death and time moving, that God is at the end of every road. He is that period, question mark and exclamation point. We take care of each other. He takes care of us. Period.