Friday, November 20, 2009

Heading Home ... and Beyond

Friday, Nov. 20, 1:27 p.m.

It's been a blessedly easy morning so far. Things got complicated last night when we were told the departure time from Cayes had been moved up a half hour (schedules are rather flexible here). So we dutifully asked Colbert to pick us up at 5:15 a.m. for a 6:30 flight. When we got to the airport, the gate was locked – we had beaten the employees, as well as the airline manager who held our tickets. So we stood around for (hmmm...) a half hour waiting to go inside. As it turned out, our flight left at the originally scheduled time after all, 7 a.m. At least we got to watch the sunrise.

The other small glitch this morning was the absence of running water at Hosanna House. I guess I didn't really need that shower after all.

For me, at least, a trip like this defies quick and clear conclusions. As we've each said more than once, it will take some time to process what we've done and seen and heard. But as far as themes go, it's probably worth paying attention to the Gospel reading for today from the Daily Office lectionary. Here's part of that passage:

“Take care that you do not despise any one of these little ones [children]; for I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father. What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the 99 on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the 99 that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that any of these little ones should be lost.” (Matthew 18:10-14)

Every child counts, even (especially) those most of us never see. God sees each of them, no matter how remote their village, no matter how desperate their circumstances, no matter how easily we might write them off. In God's eyes, no children are so lost that God's people should stop looking for ways to reach them. It may seem like a pipe dream to imagine the children of Maniche graduating from middle school and being prepared for a trade beyond sharecropping. But it's not. Such a transformational future is within the grasp of our two partner congregations. That which God purposes God also blesses. So if we're faithful to our calling, if we resist the temptation to deny the power of new creation God shares with us, then we can be the agents who bring such a miraculous future to life.

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