Haiti makes Walter Brueggemann make a bit more sense to me.
The Bruegg (as I affectionately and irreverantly think of him) is the theologian who has been
wrecking building my life over the past few years. In The Prophetic Imagination, he writes that real hope only comes after despair. Only if we have tasted despair, only if we have known the deep sadness of unfulfilled dreams and promises, only if we dare to look reality in the face and name it for what it is, only then – can we dare to begin to imagine a better way.
Hope is subversive precisely because it dares to admit that all is not as it should be.
And I thought: Of course….Haiti.
Today, we mark the fifth anniversary of the earthquake. Five years.
There has been despair.
There is despair.
We see life before and after the earthquake – the poverty, the gross domestic product, the politics of a developing nation, and so on – and we know it isn’t right. This isn’t what God intended for us.
But because of our Jesus, our hope sees with new eyes, with Spirit-eyes, and imagines a better way. We see the goodness. We see the health. We see the holy. We see the strong communities, we see Pastor Jean Alix, and Pastor Gaetan, and Rosena, and St. Cyr with Help One Now, and then there’s Troy and Tara, Beth and John, and everyone at Heartline and all of the ways that heaven is breaking through right in the midst of it all.
Maybe there is despair – but there is also hope.
Hope cultivates the seed of the Kingdom that is already growing wild and free.
Hope comes alongside of each other, in friendship, and says, let’s do this.
Hope is an act of faith.
Since my own story intersected with Haiti, I have had my eye out for that subversive hope. We’ve made friends and we’ve built a school together, we’ve started a preschool and rescued kids from trafficking. I’m late to to the party perhaps but for the past five years, Haiti hasn’t let go of me even here from my life in western Canada. The world is small, neighbour.
Together, we are holding out for, working for, listening, creating, prophesying, and living into something better. For the Kingdom to come, for oaks of righteousness to tower, for leaves to blossom for the healing of the nations, for swords to be beaten into ploughshares, for joy to come in the morning, and for redemption.
Light a candle for Haiti today.
Say a prayer.
Make room to remember Haiti’s complex story.
And, if you can, perhaps send a bit of money to Help One Now projects in Drouin, Port Au Prince, and Ferrier village or to Heartline Maternity Centre which not only delivers babies but empowers women to raise their children. You can trust that your money makes a difference right on the ground in real lives with these two groups – they’re the real deal.
Also, all of the profits from the Jesus Feminist collection go to support these two worthy orgs.
edited from the archives