Some days I feel the power of God.
Some days I find I’m under my own steam, and it’s usually a sorry place to be.
Today was both.
Late in the day I was on my way home from Cayes after checking out a local professional school for a young man that we support. I could feel His protection.
Cars, semi-trucks, motorcycles zipping by within inches, but I felt peace. Passing through an intense 4 way intersection, in the randomness of it all, and there it is again....unmistakable, unnatural, undeserved...Peace.
I take in a big deep breath as I pass my favorite spot along the way home. It always smells so fresh with sugar cane and corn. I’m going so fast the only thing holding my hat on my head is the drawstring. The brim always flips up in the wind like I’m one of the Rough Riders riding saddle to saddle with Teddy Roosevelt. To the Haitians I’m a great amusement. They always laugh when I pass by. I’m sure I look completely ridiculous, but I honestly don’t care. I’m not here of my own accord. I’m here on account of Bondye. I fill my lungs, growling like a pirate as I’m flying down the road.....”Arrrrrrrrrrrr! Thank you for this Lord!”
But this afternoon....
well that was different.
I was waiting for a Haitian friend of mine at the main road in our village. One of the young ladies I admire most in Ti Rivier was there, waiting for a tap-tap to catch a ride to school. She’s a Christian. She stands out like an angel. I waved at her. Her smile is warm and gracious. Makes you proud to call her a Sister...
Standing next to her was a group of teenagers. Some girls. Some boys.
And all over the world it’s the same old story.
Boys, inevitably, will try to impress the girls.
So, naturally, they look to me.
The American is an easy enough target. Especially this one. He’s a ‘Missionary’, a ‘Jesus Freak’, and he can’t understand what we say so long as we talk fast.
I heard them beginning to rant. I heard them beginning to mock me. I looked over and saw Judeline’s face, once filled with such a beautiful smile, but now contorted and bothered. It was obvious she was trying to make them stop. She was standing up for me.
I glanced back at the young men. One was trying to secretly take my picture on his phone. His friends were laughing until I’d look at them. I could see smugness on their faces.
I was in my own power. It was not peaceful, and one of the most disturbing things to me is that it has it’s limits. There’s not an endless supply like there is when I’m under God’s provision. There’s a definite fuse. And when I’m under my own steam, it’s like that leftover Blackjack you find at the bottom of the box on the 4th of July. There’s a fuse, but it’s short. You wonder if you dare to light it.
Day in, Day out, I’ve heard this mocking. It’s always been there. Most days it doesn’t bother me a bit. Today I felt my temperature rising each time I looked at them. Another slur came out of their mouths...
That’s when my Haitian friend showed up to teach me.
“You ready to learn?” he asked me. It was time for my Creole class.
“Yeah, you know why?? Because I’m getting sick and tired of this crap!”
My friend just gave me this surprised look.
“You see this? These guys standing here making fun of me, because they know I can’t understand. They think I can’t tell by their tone that they are mocking me? You know why I’d like to learn? Because if I don’t, I’m going to go over and knock this guy flat!”
I pointed right at him, and as I looked at the guy, he jumped.
“What did he just say?!” I asked. My teeth were gritted.
“He just told you to close your f-ing mouth.” My friend said.
I began to growl.
“How do you say ‘my mouth is open’?” (As if that were intelligent or witty at all) My Creole kicked in...
I started walking back towards the guys. My steps were forceful. They were scared. One looked like he was going to run. He changed his mind when he thought of how much ridicule that would bring at school. I literally saw that thought flash through his brain. The other just looked the other way, as if he’d had no part in this at all.
“Hey!” I pointed at him. “Can you hear me?”
“Yeah. You.” “Can you Hear me? Am I speaking in your language?”
“My mouth is open MY BROTHER!”
I could have said a thousand things beneficial. I could have given glory to God. I could have simply reminded them, ‘Jezi renmen ou,’
Nope. All I could think of was....my mouth is open?
I have so, so much to learn.