A sober moment was at Pastor St. Cyr's church, which is at the edge of tent city in Petionville. I looked out from the windows of the church at a place where some have been living under tarps since the earthquake in January 2010. I wanted to look because I don't want to forget it. I don't want to forget the tension I feel in my gut due to the vast inequalities happening on this earth.
I felt tension when people looked back at me from their homes under the tarps. It is not a zoo where people are to be on display like animals. I want the image of tent city, just down the hill from a huge house overlooking the area, to be tattooed to the back of my eyelids as a reminder. I want it to be a reminder to me that I'm supposed to be uncomfortable that this is happening anywhere on earth. As a part of the church, we should be uncomfortable with inequality.
I don't want to conveniently avoid the knowledge that millions of the unborn are aborted every year, that a huge portion of the people on earth do not have access to clean water, that millions of young people cannot go to school, that vulnerable people in desperate situations are exploited...the list could go on and on.
I also don't want to conveniently ignore systemic injustices in my own backyard or those experiencing grief, loneliness, illness, or depression who are in my immediate circles. It's definitely sexier to take a trip to Haiti than it is to walk next door to visit my elderly neighbor.
I read Sarah Bessey's posts from the blogger trip back in October, and cried with her all over again.
Can I just say this, too? I need to say it: I’m so proud of the Church. So proud of the people of God, of the people of the Gospel. You know how I have gone, in the last few years, from being ashamed to call myself a Christian, eschewing even the title, to feeling like I am part of something beautiful, and holy, and communal. But The Bride of Christ has never looked lovelier to me than she did today, from my spot on the stones, sitting in Richard’s home, because the Gospel is at this intersection of it all this truth and reality and hope and grief, it’s social and it’s spiritual and it’s physical.Amen, sister. God is so evidently present there. There is so much good happening there.
Finally, I would point you here to this article, by Kent Annan. Reading this article lead me to read one of his books (Following Jesus through the Eye of a Needle) before I went on the trip, which helped me to gain a realistic perspective of what it is to live in a developing country. I definitely recommend it.