Hope, and this story, are what crossed my mind several times as we traveled around Tennessee and North Carolina.
Hope. When you first head to a place like Haiti you have nothing but hope. You hope for every child to be healed, you hope for every person to have a job, you hope for every soul to be saved. You have a mindset that you believe you will change the world. In fact, you might even set your ringtone to "Waiting on the World to Change" by John Mayer just a couple months before you take off for your journey.
Last September in Haiti, I can remember a short time where maybe I lost sight of "hope."
Amy and I were in the pharmacy drawing up meds when Renkins walked in and said that a plane had crashed. Amy walked in and said, "did you hear a plane has crashed"? I said yes that's what Renkins said, and then it finally registered. What do you do when you hear a plane has crashed? We finally decided we would go and check out the scene and see if there was anything we could do. We brought bandages and a first aid kit. I guess none of us really could have known what to expect.
So we got in the truck and headed about 1/2 mile down the road. I guess I have never really witnessed a "real" lightning storm. This wasn't a lightning storm where you saw a lightning bolt here and there in the sky and think it's pretty. No. We saw lightning hitting the ground everywhere.
We finally reached a point in the road where we thought the plane might have crashed. Several people were gathered around a footpath entering into a sugarcane field. Amy had decided that she would stay in the truck due to her fear of lightening. I laughed at her then, but in hindsight maybe she was the smart one.
Nikki and I began making our way into the sugarcane field. People had already cleared a path with their machetes. Walking through the field I didn't know what to think. I couldn't have imagined what I was about to stumble on.
After ten minutes of walking though the broken sugar cane, with water up to my knees I finally reached the scene. I could see only part of the propeller but otherwise the plane was in pieces scattered across the field. I saw people scavenging for different pieces of the plane, luggage, and just anything and everything they could get their hands on.
I started to recognize some of the Haitians, and they preceded to tell me that my friends were over there. They pointed out in the distance. I was confused because I knew Nikki and Amy were behind me. One Haitian decided to grab my hand and tug me over to the other side of the plane. That's when I saw things that I will never be able to get out of my head. That's when I saw a scene I hope no one ever has to see. Three bodies. Three barely recognizable bodies.
I can't describe how I felt that moment. But, all I know is that it felt normal.
But, surely you shouldn't feel normal upon seeing a site like that.
You're right. It's not normal. Not normal at all.
If we're honest, we all lose hope all the time. In Haiti it's just really really easy to become hopeless.
Death is witnessed all the time. Food is scarce. Jobs are non-existent. Plane crashes happen.
But last time I checked Jesus Christ, God's son, came to this earth to live and die for us in order to bring us fullness in Him. He is our hope. Who are we to circumstantially become hopeless?
I think a burnt out humanitarian may have seen my early enthusiasm and labeled me naive.
But lets be honest, my attitude proved that I was "the burnt out humanitarian."
Thankfully, I have a faithful friend that graciously reminds me that because He came, it's not naive
to hope for healing for every child
to hope for every person to have a job
and to hope for every soul to be saved.