I have assigned the above phrase as an administrative identifier on this blog.
The words paint a vivid reminder for me. January 12, 2010, the horrific and devastating earthquake in Haiti. A place my parents had served as missionaries in their retirement years. A place they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on their long journey to 72 years together. People they had loved, served and lived in community with over long periods of time. They came to know their stories, not filled with hopes or dreams….but a simple wish for daily survival, food for their children, shelter from the rains or burning sun. Places of worship and baptisms and weddings. Communion side by side, whether at church or a shared table. So, hearing their stories from our parents over that period of time gave our family a very real picture of these faithful people. We loved them, too.
I remember the day after the earthquake, or perhaps two….seeing a photograph (it was not the one above) of a group of Haitians, coming up over a mountain of rubble, hands stretched all the way to the sky, singing hymns! I will never forget it! The impact was almost physical! Their faces tilted up, joy pouring onto the page. The accompanying text shared their thankful hearts, their praise for God! No supplication but praise!
My initial reaction was being witness to the very core of what it means to love the risen Christ…..stripped down to the clear relationship that gave them joy and peace among chaos and an even more uncertain future. They were not only faithful, they trusted this Christ. They loved him with their very beings. A powerful image.
I remember calling my mother to ask her about the photo….and she assured me all I felt was true to who they were. She reminisced at how joyful these people really were, how much they shared and how strong their faith, in the face of unrelenting struggles we cannot possibly know. They had great pride in their worth, not worth determined by any secular standard, but because of their worth to God.
So, I have often thought how good it would be if we could rise above the rubble we call injustice and celebrate God’s words in a world that values each person as he does.
I am trying mightily to rise above the ashes.