Today, while reminiscing about my first trip to Haiti in March 2012, I scrolled through my Haiti photos and videos. And my jaw dropped when I found this video, taken at the home of Claudel, a young Haitian man whom we support as he finishes high school. I spent the afternoon with Claudel and his brother, who is translating in the video. And he spoke these words ….
Check it out: (Email subscribers can click here to watch.)
I’m holding the camera in that video. And I remember it all with startling clarity. I remember how, in that moment when Claudel said our whole family would come to Haiti in 2013, I smiled politely, but knew for sure that would never happen. Nope. Maybe in 2020. But not in 2013.
But behold, the tickets have been bought, the girls’ passports are being reviewed by a federal agency, and we are headed to Haiti in January 2013. We will help build a playground, but we will also make a trip up north to have that party that Claudel wants to have in his tiny, “beautiful” house — no bigger than my laundry room.
I look back on that video and see the faint lines of a God-incidence forming, one that I didn’t see the first time around.
So much of life is like that, you know? We often don’t see the answered prayer or the hope realized until we’re standing in the middle of its very reality.
It’s not always like that, of course. Sometimes, we can pray so hard that tears stream down our faces, buried in the bed-pillows. We might want to ask, “Where is my God-incidence now?” True enough, we might pray fervently, yet we don’t get the thrill of a video a few months later. We might have to wait years to put all the pieces together. We might even have to wait all the way until we get a viewing screen in Heaven to make sense of any of it.
But when it does happen here-below, when God does surprise me with these sweet gifts wrapped in love, all I can do is lift my hands and lift my voice and whisper up to Heaven: “Thank you, Father, for doing the most remarkable things, in spite of my very unremarkable faith.”
(A photo of Claudel’s home. I have a feeling we’re going to raise the roof when we party here in January.)
We write in community every Wednesday about the God-Things that make you go, “Hmmm…”
Some call them coincidences. We call them God-incidences. And those goosebumps you get sometimes when you know the Holy Spirit is at work? Yep. They’re God-Bumps.
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