Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Inadequacy: My Response to Haiti

I struggle with how to write a response to my trip to Haiti.

I could recount the poverty we saw. But what's the point in trying to describe something that's beyond words?

I could try to explain the massive range of emotions I experienced. But I'm afraid they would sound empty and overdone.

I could tell you about the labor we did, but without feeling the heartbeat, it's unimpressive.

So I choose to tell you one lesson. Just one of many I'm learning. Because that's all I really know how to do. So hang with me as I work my heart into words.

I'm going to go back a few weeks to a conversation I had with a very good friend. She quoted this statement to me,
Adoption apart from Christ is meaningless. No child needs to be more comfortable on their way to hell.

This is a brash statement. And when I heard it, it didn't set right. Even as a Christian, I'm so tempted to say that a caring family can give a child a better life with more opportunity in America than some of the circumstances I saw last week. But that, of course, begs the question, "What is my definition of better?" Apart from Christ, isn't everything hopeless?

The walls God has been working on tearing down came flying back up as soon as I was faced with blatant injustice. I realized that when I said I wanted to help, I meant from a distance. Because I didn't want to feel their pain. Or my conviction. So I put up this wall claiming in arrogance that "it's just the way it is" or "it's all they've ever known." And even so bold to say that they're the lucky ones (in some ways, maybe.) But mostly, this is me being a coward and unable to cope with the weight of reality.

The first night in Haiti, I remembered the conversation about adoption in light of the reaction I was having to what I was seeing, and it dawned on me. I'm so uncomfortable with anything that shouts my inadequacy. I am inadequate to do one single thing that is worth anything apart from Christ. Because at the core of everything,everything, it's Him.

If I gave every single penny I have. And sold everything to devote my life to these people. And carried bucket after bucket of concrete. Or put shoes on every child. Or raised money for education, clean water, hospitals, freedom for sex slaves, the list goes on and on...It wouldn't touch it. Because I am terribly inadequate.

And thank God nothing relies on my ability to be adequate in anything. That realization is the only thing that gives us freedom to have joy or peace or comfort.

His supremacy.
His kingdom.

This is my new prayer.
"We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me."
Colossians 1:28-29


Cherie Roe said...

OMGoodness Bekah...you made me cry. I could say how proud I am to know you and the beautiful, strong, and faithful woman you have become but that does no justice to God's work in you. You make me want to step outside of myself again and see what God can do through my inadequacy.
Love you sweet, little Bekah who is not so little anymore.


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