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 year or so. 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.
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 the villages in Ferrier, and 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.
In just over a week, I’ll be crossing the continent and returning to Haiti. I’ll spend Holy Week on that hallowed ground.
Together, we will be visiting our Help One Now projects in Drouin, Port Au Prince, and Ferrier village. The plan is to tell stories from the field – of the children rescued from trafficking, poverty and a life of neglect and of the local men and women who care for them with such love and courage. If all goes as planned, I may even spend a bit of time at Heartline with my friends, Tara & Troy Livesay. (Hope personified? New babies and proud mamas. Yes, please.)
I feel like my task in Haiti is to bear witness to the subversive hope.
I can’t wait to introduce to some of my friends. The world is small, neighbour.
Together, we are holding out for, working for, listening, creating, prophecying, 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.
While I’m in Haiti, would you do me a favour? Would you pray?
Not just for our team or for our families back at home – that is so precious and important – but also for the Kingdom to break through and for hope to rise. And then, despite the despair or the apathy that grabs hold of us all in this world, then would you remain open to how your own story may intersect with Haiti’s story?