My Heart ExposedRich Stigall
God is transforming lives through orphan care. That’s a beautiful fact. Still, at GO Project, we think a fascinating question is, “Who is being transformed more, the children who need family or those who love them?” Is Matt Kouri’s statement that we “need orphan care as much or more than orphans need it” actually true?
Heather recently returned from her third trip to Haiti and graciously shared some of her personal thoughts around that question in her writings below…
I am a big believer in signs and wonders. I don’t believe that heart rocks, heart clouds, heart-shaped potato chips just happen to cross my path (sometimes literally) for no reason. So when I turn my IPod on and hit shuffle as I leave on a trip, arrive from a trip, or when I am simply going through something…I see it as words and music being given to me for a special purpose…and I am compelled to listen. Repeatedly.
Today upon saying good-byes to Hilde (my sister) as she headed home after our seven day vision trip in Haiti, I turned on my IPod and hit shuffle, and this was the first song to play I Stand Before Almighty God Alone. I posted a link to a YouTube video in case you want to take a listen. Consider yourself warned. In the best ways.
The words took me out…and then the line “…my heart is now exposed…” to which began the first of many post-Haiti meltdowns.
I hear you. Crystal. Clear.
There is so much to download and process from this (unbelievably) third trip (in less than a year) to Haiti…that I am overwhelmed simply by that small to do (downloading and processing and dealing with the aftershocks (aka re-entry)) that must be done…yet as I sit here tonight on my deck listening to the noises of the city, feeling the cool breeze, sipping a glass of wine, listening to this song on repeat-hitting shuffle again-then coming back to hear it again, wiping away tears, laughing at funny memories, and missing my Sis who I have been with in lock-step for the past eight days…I am struck…
It really is just me and him.
My God and I (as the old gospel hymn goes).
His love has never changed. He knows me. I yield my need to cast the blame or stone. I have given up, my heart is now exposed. All the rights I’ve called my own. Everything I have believed. All of my hope is with thee. There’s mourning breaking on a hill. The quiet dawn with peace and still. My restless heart is now at home. (THOSE. Words.)
One of my friends re-posted a video I made of a little girl in Haiti and it struck me that they referenced Haiti as “my church”…and there is a lot of truth to that. Haiti is teaching me deeper and more profound lessons about Jesus than a church or pastor ever has (and that is not intended to insult some of the fantastic pastors I have had in my nearly 43 years), but the hard, difficult truth is that you cannot go to Haiti and then read your Bible and then interpret the scripture the same. Let me be clear. I cannot. Cannot. Will. Not.
I truly didn’t believe God could/would allow my heart to be wrecked more, but he has. He. Has. I am clueless to what the lessons are…the changes that are coming (small or large)…the after shocks that I will endure, but I know this…I stand before almighty God…alone. Alone.
The past few years have been wrenching (in lots of ways). In some ways, a roller coaster that I neither was prepared, or wanted a ticket, for…*Sigh.* The day I flew to Haiti, another chapter of my old life closed…ever so softly, with no fan-fare, or thank you very much, or even a whimper. Nothing. Like an empty boat slipping off to sea…until the horizon absorbed it stem-to-stern. The timing was breathtaking. I told only Hilde..quietly…on the plane to Haiti, wept a little, and then I turned my eyes forward…knowing that God has me and my heart in his strong arms…and he knows the course, not I…
We are commanded to take care of the least of these, but let my life of late be a testimony…it is in taking care of the least of these that you gain your very LIFE.
I have given up, my heart is now exposed.
It took a small country, and an even smaller little boy, to teach my heart what no book or lecture or mentor or pastor had ever come close…my life is not about me…