#changetheconversation

I just came in from my morning walk.

My devotions led me to this.

We got back from our most recent trip to Haiti about eight hours ago. I, and three very humble, gifted, generous, funny, faithful friends had a full day of travel and retrospection. As is true after pretty much every trip the conversations kept steering to what could we do to “fix Haiti.” We didn’t use those words but that is the bottom line.

There are many responses rolling in your mind right now.

“Heal thyself” might well be one of them.

I digress.

By “fix” we are pretty much skipping over some of the greater truth to chase an economic solution.

Economic change is greatly needed there.

That’s exactly the thing we cannot fix.

To dwell on that is to come to a level of frustration that leads to spiritual stagnation that leads to defeat.

There is a line in a Book I read fairly regularly that says “the One who began a good work in you will see it to completion…”

We aren’t called to finish the job. We don’t even have a good grasp of what the beautiful result should look like. We are simply called to be participants in the project.

If we lose sight of this we also lose sight of something very sweet.

The good work is exactly that.

We can’t fix Haiti (or Anderson for that matter) but there are over 600 children going to school through the work that was begun in us. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti (or Washington for that matter) but there is a young woman with new clothes going to college. New clothes and college weren’t even an option, not even a dream. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti (or even change one hair on my head) but there is a very bright young man who is back in classical (secondary) school who’d dropped out because he didn’t have the $250 for the annual tuition. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti but I also can’t get the image out of my head of several people leaving our outdoor woodworking area with chairs, tables, stools, and HUGE smiles. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti but there is a freshly painted building with new pews to sit on where people gather to praise and draw strength and find hope in a place where these things are as essential as air and food. That means something.

I can’t fix Haiti but I can believe in a Friend who is in the process of doing that very thing - and fixing me in the process.

I got to the church building here in Rogersville about 11 last night. I checked my messages and mail. There was a note from a sweet lady who had a serious injury and several surgeries last year. She had no money for food - or for Christmas gifts for her children. You gave generously to her. The note she sent included the words “you have no idea how much that meant to us.”

She’s right.

As our Friend and I were winding up a fairly brief stroll this morning I felt compelled to confess the part of my life that wants to see everything fixed. He smiled at me the way he does and said…

“I prefer to look at the fixers.”

Your move.

Brother Pat

#changetheconversation

I just came in from my morning walk.

My devotions led me to this.

Wednesday evenings are really fun for me.

I get to spend a half hour with the youth group. (I didn’t say it was fun for everyone.)

In this (hopefully) post pandemic period they are a priority and we are learning some eye opening and heart popping things.

But I have to talk a right smart.

We adjourn to a quick meal with the saints who assemble for fellowship and to show our family ties. For reasons that elude me not many adults have returned but those who gather are bringing some eye opening and heart popping contact.

Whilst we gather at the Welcome Table we talk a right smart.

Then the Bible Class commences. A dozen or so of us make it a habit to hang out together and hear some eye opening and heart popping insights burst forth from the Good Book.

You guessed it. I talk a right smart.

Then comes choir rehearsal.

My voice, always weak and never in tune, is worn out.

I told the Cutie a few weeks ago that I try to sing through the song for the coming week but mostly just listen to those being rehearsed for further down the road.

All the eye opening and heart popping and talking a right smart leaves me depleted for vocalizing.

Last night it was the same.

Except when we got down the rehearsal list to “10,000 Reasons” I sang again. And louder. Maybe not anymore in tune than before but I couldn’t not sing.

I had done a triumphant funeral yesterday afternoon. I took my Mom to the beauty shop yesterday morning. Long needed rain had fallen. The roof over my head kept me dry. I had $3.50 for a milkshake. I got photos of a young woman smiling boldly after some much needed dental work and of the restrooms being built in Dufour, Haiti. I had at least a dozen people ask for prayers. What an honor to be the one they turned to. Old Uncle Dowe is moving into assisted living. He is already plotting the Bible Study he will lead in the chapel “two doors from my apartment.”

In the darkness you are shining a bright light.

In the despair you are living an amazing hope.

In the sadness you are offering a joy that has come for all people.

In the greed you are sharing in ways that are becoming to a church that wants to be known for generosity.

And I got to hug the children!

10,000 eye opening and heart popping things exploding all around me - and welling up in song.

Even after I had talked a right smart.

Eh?

As our Friend and I walked after that little hailstorm we were mentioning you and your works of love and faith. It was a talk that held no promise of ending so he smiled at me the way he does and said…

“Let’s sing.”

Your move.

Brother Pat

Posted 2 weeks ago