As some of you might know, my wife spent last week in Haiti. She’s an RN and went down on a medical team to provide much lacking healthcare to the women and children involved with Haiti Foundation Against Poverty and the organizations they support.
Due to other “challenges” it’s been a couple of years since either one of us has been down to Haiti. A lot has changed in that time, with us and with Haiti. But a lot hasn’t.
Haiti is still part of our family. 40% of our children came from Haiti. We have many friends and our kids have birth family who live there.
Our hearts still break over the poverty, the sickness, the corruption, the trauma, the lack of proper health care, the lack of education. It’s hard seeing people you care about and a country you care about suffer and struggle.
But it’s not like all of the world’s problems are limited to a place like Haiti. They aren’t.
There are struggles right here in the first world too. My neighbor is at her father’s bedside as he battles what appears to be the final stages of lung disease.
My daughter’s classmate went to her 45 year old uncle’s funeral yesterday.
A friend is trying to find mental health services for her child and herself as they struggle – and before someone gets seriously hurt.
I could go on and on and on.
This weekend, and even yesterday, I spent a good bit of time wrestling with a one word question:’
Probably not “why?” in the way you’re thinking. Not “why does God allow these bad things to happen.”
No, I was wrestling with the question of “Why?” as in “Why me?” “Why my wife?”
Why did God push me out of banking (a relatively comfortable job) into working for an orphanage – and then out of that and into helping struggling adoptive families through AFSN?
Why did God give my wife the skills that are so desperately needed at medical clinics in Haiti?
Why do I care so much about kids I’ve never met?
Why do I want to help others – even when facing my and my family’s own struggles? (If you think we’ve got it all together, then you don’t know us very well.)
Why didn’t God push me into a place where I could do a nice “ordinary” job and could not face these types of pains, heartaches and struggles?
But then two things happened in the last 48 hours that have “sort of” answered that question:
We attended the Tenebrae service at Calvin College Sunday night. In it, we were able to experience, movingly, emotionally and physically the pain and brokenness that is part of this week and is part of what God has taken care through Good Friday and through Easter. We learned again that God accepts us and chases us when we are broken with his love and his mercy.
And I listened to “Broken” by Casting Crowns again. And again. The part that kept hitting me over and over was:
Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete
Could we just be broken together
If you can bring your shattered dreams and Ill bring mine
Could healing still be spoken and save us
The only way we’ll last forever is broken together
God hasn’t called us to be “perfect.” He hasn’t called us to be “all together.” God is totally fine with us coming to him broken.
Broken by pain.
Broken by illness.
Broken by an ache in our hearts for those who hurt.
Broken by a sense of injustice.
Broken by a desire to make His world a better place.
Broken by our own sins and struggles and heartache.
We don’t have to fix it all, we can’t fix it all, only God can.
But we can be broken together.
And if we’re broken together, healing can begin.
And that’s what makes Jesus smile.