I miss writing. It has been nerve-wracking and a struggle to get words on paper (or typed) for some time now. I was trying to get my thoughts down last night when I came across this blog that I wrote in April of 2015. After reading it, even though it has been nearly a year since I wrote it, I still feel that it is as valid and true now as it was then.
As we drove one of our pregnant 17-year-old students home, my heart was in my throat thinking about how she just got kicked out of her mother’s house and we were now on our way to her boyfriends sisters house, where she was now living. Then, we passed him, a sweet man clothed only in an oversized pair of shorts crouched in the grass. My slight, “Bonswa” led to his glazed response of “Bonswa” followed by his quick “Koman ou ye? (How are you?)”
My mind left our sweet student for a second to think of what this man’s story was. We passed him and continued to her house. We got as far as we could drive and stopped the car. As we got out we walked up the steep dirt path to the home where she was staying. As Steph, Sharon and I exchanged a few words with the baby’s father and our student, we soon left and headed back to the car.
By the time we passed the same elderly man he was now crowded with a dozen people. The immediate response from me was sympathy but then I saw what was happening, my heart filled…the neighborhood was bringing him some food….some water….trying to asking him questions. All to no avail, but still they were trying. He was obviously struggling with his memory and what was going on. As I saw some of the people who were helping were our professors and others I knew in the neighborhood, I stopped the car and asked about him.
As there seemed to be no clear plan one of our teachers asked me where he thought we could bring him. Making a few phone calls I tried to find a plan.
Bringing him to the police station we were met with laughter and absolutely no help except for one of our security guards (who is also a policeman). As the situation became more hopeless and the time grew on I realized that I needed to ask Josh to try and come and pick up this sweet, calm but lost man.
Josh came and picked up the old man. As he drove to the first hospital and was turned down he began praying for him. Hospital two and three were all to no avail as the last hospital wouldn’t even accept him because he did not have a shirt on. We ended up deciding to let him stay in a safe place of Respire Haiti’s.
As Josh came home from dropping him off half naked because Josh gave his clothes to this sweet man, my heart was crushed. The situation felt hopeless, like no one wanted to try and figure anything out for this sweet man except for us.
My mind began running as I selfishly thought, “We are in the trenches and it’s exhausting, and no one else has to deal with trenches like this” …The trenches of most third world countries. No systems. Corruption. Lack of education, knowledge and compassion. No one willing to help.
For us, this is exhausting and discouraging.
And then for a split second I thought, man this is impossible. So hard. Our trenches are just too deep….too dirty….too hopeless.
And then God clearly revealed to me, “No Megan. It’s not just “YOUR” trenches.” I felt selfish and then dug deeper. How conceded and selfish to think that “our” trenches here in Gressier, Haiti are the deepest, the worst.
Everyone’s trenches are different. God reminded me…You have friends who have recently lost babies and others who are struggling with infertility. You have friends who have cancer and are sick and others who are struggling with losing jobs and have trouble financially.
Are my trenches still worse?
I was in the states a few weeks ago and was OVERWHELMED with the darkness I felt and saw there. Depression. Broken Marriages. Selfishness.
And then I recognized clearly…Everyone’s trenches are different.
My trench is NOT more important than your trench…your trench is NOT more important than mine.
The important part to think about is WHERE is Jesus in your trench?
Do I feel hopeless? Or hopeful? Do I feel alone?
Regardless. Bring Jesus in. Invite Jesus into your trench.
As I thought about driving past the people crowded around this old man. My flesh wanted to pass him but my foot pressed the break. I KNEW there was not an easy solution for this. And I KNEW that if I entered into this trench it would probably NOT be an easy one….
Are You willing to enter into someone else’s “Trench” …someone else’s darkness? Am I?
I can tell you right now, it WILL most likely mess up your plans, your dinner, your day, your week, maybe even your month.
BUT God, do you know what He is showing you or leading you too?
Pray for us as this sweet man is staying in a safe place tonight and we will hopefully be able to help him more tomorrow. Because what I am realizing tonight is that many times what I think are trenches are really mountaintops…bringing me closer to Jesus than I could ever imagine. Because ONLY HE can turn our deepest, darkest, most frustrating and hard things into moments where we SEE Him, FEEL Him, KNOW Him more than we ever thought we could.
Update: After Josh drove around the next day for less than an hour people kept directing him up into the mountains. Finally after asking at practically every intersection a motorcycle driver recognized the sweet old man and heard he had wondered out of his house down the mountain. Thank God, he was reunited with his family and is now safe!