As we all chaotically sat down to eat, we heard the small yet strong voice announce, “Nou poco priye!” (“We haven’t prayed yet!”). Looking at each other we realized she was right…I then asked Micha to pray for us, since she was the one who voiced her concern.
She lowered her head, covered her eyes and began reciting Psalm 23.
As I sit here tonight looking up this scripture, my heart is once again overwhelmed at this little girls faith, her courage, her strength.
She recited this scripture boldly and confidently…
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
For you are with me;
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord, forever.”
Michaelle will never forget that she was once a slave. We still struggle with physical, emotional and mental scars daily…But we also know that God is in this. That her beauty and grace and joy are contagious because she has found freedom. Freedom in Christ. She will be a VOICE for this nation. A VOICE for freedom. A Voice for the voiceless. A Voice for Haiti.
Her scars will never be embarrassing memories of the past. In our house. Scars are not ugly marks, or fearful memories. In our house, our past scars are beautiful marks of our journey, it doesn’t mean we like them, but we are not ashamed. We are not afraid. We are not afraid of our pasts. We are not embarrassed of our insecurities.
Scars. They are Always with us. They leave a mark that won’t go away. But we have a choice. We can hold on to the hurt, pain, fear that caused the scar in the first place. We can keep that anger built up or growing inside—or we can do the opposite, we can remember and be changed. We can find strength from our past. We can find redemption and restoration in our heart and from our pain.
This doesn’t mean to forget. I would never ask or tell Michaelle to “forget” her past, to forget her pain. Instead I want to let her remember it- but not to remember it for the hurt it has caused but instead to remember it for compassion. Remember it for freedom. Remember it for a passionate and righteous anger.
Instead of letting our scars that remain be reminders of fear, bondage and anger. We have decided our scars are just our fuel- our fuel for being non-fearful in Christ, our fuel for righteous anger. Our fuel for passion. Our fuel to encourage our fight for others who are in the same situation.
Although we have typical 7 year old meltdowns and fits, we also have mature and honest conversations…last week when we had left over food, instead of it going to waste Michaelle expressed that she wanted to bring it to her old neighbors on Bellevue Mountain who are hungry. To “Ti-Blanc”, Diana, and all her friends that she remembers their pains. Their hunger cries.
Her “scars” now have turned into beautiful marks that are fueling her to FIGHT for these fatherless herself. To be a VOICE for the Voiceless, starting with the voiceless children SHE knows.
The scars that Michaelle has will and are CHANGING Gressier, Haiti.