#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.

This may be rambling.

Or it may be a direct shot to the heart.

Just two days ago the president of Haiti was assassinated. It seems like an eternity already as the poor people of Haiti grieve, their dire circumstances become untenable, and the uncertainty creates an atmosphere that is choking.

For forty-eight hours I have been praying. I know there is something I should be doing but I had no clue what. In the meantime many of you reached out to me with your concern and tender hearts and your comforting prayers. Thank you from me and on behalf of our friends in Haiti.

This morning, about 3:30 a.m., when I got up I had a message from Uncle Dowe. He too was reaching out in his pain and hope.

Then he preached me a sermon.

He told of Elijah and Elisha both needing a miracle and how they got it going by telling God their jars were empty.

And another time Elisha was hearing from some folks who were all worked up over a drought. Elisha tells them to dig ditches to hold the water that would come. Already God was pouring out a soaker upstream in Edom.

The ditches got filled.

Our friends in Haiti are in need of many things. Above all they need to know they are loved and never forgotten. It is raining upstream.

So then I messaged with Pastor Joab at Dufour. I told him of a vision I was getting of a “Flood of Grace.” This flood wouldn’t water brick and mortar church buildings. It would nurture lives with food and gainful employment and, especially, a constant awareness of a never ending Love.

Joab said he was having the same thoughts.

That made three of us getting the same message.

So, back to Uncle Dowe.

I told him I was going to raise $25,000 to fund this work.

He told me he’d written a check for $25,000 an hour ago.

And he said “God can fill as many jars as you have the audacity to ask God to fill.”

Gulp.

So I laid my head back, closed my eyes, and dreamed.

Then I told Uncle Dowe I was going to raise $50,000 to fund this work.

He coolly responded that this was getting awfully close to $100,000.

GULP!

So.

$100,000 it is.

No kidding.

We have $32,500 of this now.

Those of us who are standing with our umbrellas extended are going to see a remarkable thing happen as the ditches fill in Dufour.

I ‘spect we’ll be around 1/3 of the goal by tonight.

Eh?

As our Friend and I walked a muggy hike this morning I was telling him how my faith was getting stuck in my throat. He smiled at me the way he does and….

It started to rain.

Your move.

Brother Pat

Donations may be mailed to

FCPC

16751 Highway 72

Rogersville AL 35652

Note: Flood of Grace

Posted 3 weeks ago