The cooking started early in the morning, and it never really stopped for the rest of the day, even into the late hours of the night. There were fish half as tall as me and in the most beautiful color of metallic rainbow pink, there was fresh beef from the cows that were butchered all morning. There were giant crab and lobster, and sauces to tantalize a different taste bud for everything on the menu. The festivities of the Bon Ane (New Year) and the Haitian Independence day commenced, and in the middle of Ti Rivier my family was experiencing a full blown festival.
Loud music was pumping. Drinks were flowing. There was laughter and catching up, salutations and excitement. Life was abundant.
It's all about putting on the new, and shrugging off the old.
The people put on new clothes, new shoes, new hats, new everything, and then they go into the street. The tradition is that you greet everyone you see and wish them a happy new year. Then you visit all of your family, and they will have something for you when you arrive. It's very exciting, because the family is waiting, anticipating the arrival of new smiles, kisses and hugs.
As the evening came and the people rolled in, Pierre had their plates filled to overflowing while they all sat to watch the Passion of the Christ. Neighbors, police officers, friends, family, and loads of children in all shapes and sizes filled the yard.
The master of the house and his bride were busy loving on everyone, making sure the air was filled with love and appreciation. They performed thier job flawlessly.
But, it's behind the scenes, where the servants are....ahhhhhh, that's where I love to be. I watch the inner workings. I see the camaraderie of the workers. Tikilene and Tinounoun, churning out pot after pot of meat, and yet schoolgirl giggles are on their lips. They are working as hard as I've seen anyone work, from the early morning through the night, and they are happy. Truly happy! There is banter between us. There is a heart to help, to work together, and there is an appreciation, because the master of the house has his job to do, and we all have ours. Our job is to give him the ability to do his job.
Jesus's first miracle of turning the water into wine took place in just this kind of story, did you know that? Today or 2000 years ago you wouldn't know, because among the brew of a feast, the wine ran out, and only the servants were aware. The master of the house was busy overseeing the festivities, and it was Jesus's mother who first came to Him, to hurry-up and do something before there was embarrassment and shame served on the tables.
And I believe I understood my Savior perfectly when she came to Him with the look of fret and worry upon her wrinkled brows. She was fraught with people-pleasing, and He was playing with her, probably smiling. I imagine His eyes were soft and his voice even more tender, as He shrugged and made light of a tense situation. "Dear woman," He said, "Why do you involve me?"
I love that!
But even more than that, I love her response, because she knew her boy would do something. She knew he'd make it right and snap-to for His Momma!
"Do whatever he tells you." She told the servants. Whatever he tells you....
Do you know what catches me most in the story?
It's the soft underbelly of the moment, the behind-the-scenes drama, contrasted by the perspective of servants and a master.
They had a dilemma. In the midst of the hard work, they knew there was a problem to address. But when Jesus turned the water into wine and the master tasted it, the Bible says he was unaware. He didn't even know there was a problem, and he announced that the best wine had been saved for the last! He did his job, and they did theirs, flawlessly. The servants saw the miracle. They didn't miss the blessing. And the master of the house was able to manage his great work as well. Together the mission was scratched out and overwritten with one word...accomplished!
Isn't it a beautiful picture, a real-life story played out for us in the most eloquent and intimate way? And why? Because He loves us!
The festivities here wrapped up with an early morning swim in the ocean. A washing away of the old, an ushering in of the new. As I dove under the salty water I felt as if I were being baptized all over again!
Make me clean Lord. Wash me away, sweep over me and make me clean. Don't let me miss this blessing!
'On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
“Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water” ; so they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.