Anger Exchange: a Giveaway of an Original Painting from Haiti
It made me angry to do this at first because I would rather saw off my own arm than ask you for help. I had an epiphany yesterday, and I want to write about it. It was beautiful. I want to start this post with a photo of my boys in the snow fort they made, too, just to show you some of my funny life. Ian was wearing socks on his hands, and they were nasty.
But instead I went back to the island, to the part of the island that stretches on and on in the hottest forever, in the cussy kind of freaking hot that you didn’t know existed. Actually, no not exactly, I didn’t go again in real life, but I remember it all like a punch in the face as I go back to our pictures of Drouin, Haiti. I know I already wrote all about my trip to Haiti in the spring. I don’t want to bring it up again. The news that the school in Drouin is still in need, it just makes me angry, and I can’t put my finger on why.
I went to the photos, so I could write you this post and ask for help, and the pictures made me bawl. It hurt like a wall fell on me, and behind the wall was a little girl, and she was me.
I see now. I know why I get mad.
Anger is my knee-jerk response to pain. My defense mechanism is to fight. I let myself think of Haiti sometimes almost like God had given me a vision, something beautiful to behold in another dimension, but I don’t let myself wait long in any of the pain of it, like it was real. Sometimes I have enough pain of my own. I don’t want to think of kids who hang in a balance between food and emptiness or the women and men who balance between having a job using their gifts and having to choose which child to not feed today. None of us were made to have to think about such things, much less to witness it, much less to live it.
I cry looking back, because right past the anger is sorrow and a missing, like they were my baby brothers and sisters, and I am so far away. Ah, anger was just a hiding spot, wasn’t it?
I’ve just been missing this laugh, and I didn’t know it. This laugh, this exact one, I want to have it again so bad.
And those teeth there. I remember them clearly now, all the kids, so many that they nearly trampled me to the ground. At one point I was about to laugh to death of trampling.
We loved them, and they loved their weird visitors.
I caught eyes with mothers, and we had the same hearts.
“I turned around to a schoolhouse full of children, and when class was over, they ran to us. They ran hard and happy. It was a rush of touch, of being eye to eye. They wanted to see themselves in our phones, and so we took hundreds of photos. There are 125 children who go to this school because Pastor Jean Alix loved them so. After the earthquake, after so much loss already, aid workers brought rice to the country, which turned out to be a bad case of when helping hurts. Drouin is the home of rice farmers. Free rice for all doesn’t bode well for rice farmers. An entire community lost jobs and began to go hungry. Many had to feed their children every other day. Then only a few short months later, Cholera ran down the river and into the canal. Hundreds of thousands died in Haiti from cholera. The canal even now is Drouin’s only source of water.
“After Cholera hit hard, Pastor Jean Alix asked Chris Marlow for a visit to Drouin, and Marlow obliged the rugged drive. He came and held a girl in his arms who was nearly dead. Her parents simply couldn’t feed her, but she had parents, and it wasn’t the Help One Now model to serve the mere hungry. They had planned to serve only the double orphan. Pastor invited him then to come back in a year. Then they will all be double orphans.”
These days I am looking for joy, so anger is a red flag for me. When it burns, I know it’s burning in a place intended for joy. Help One Now has come along side Haitian-led work in faraway Drouin, and I wonder what anger has been exchanged there. When a starving community has the stark contrast of hope by way of education, food, and jobs, it’s the kind of contrast that makes you think of heaven.
Let’s pray kingdom come for Drouin, and not only that, let’s call them brothers and sisters. Sponsor a young one in Drouin, so others can be welcomed into the small school there that provides such life.
My friend Laura of Hollywood Housewife auctioned off these two gorgeous and wildly popular paintings on behalf of Drouin. These were painted by Richard, and our little group flipped out when we saw his work as we entered into his home.
I bought a piece that I’ll show you soon, and I also bought an original piece for you. I would love to give it away this week! It’s a smaller version of Laura’s, but it’s amazing.
Sponsor a child in Drouin, Haiti as an act of joy,
and if you do, please send me a message on Facebook to enter the drawing.
I will draw a name at random on Saturday morning. I think you’ll love it.
PS: I know it’s just my word, and most of you don’t know me in real life, but I have seen this place with my eyes. The work is legit. The money goes in right places here. The food is healthy and tastes delicious. The jobs for cooks and teachers build real life houses, and families stay together in them. The books the kids get to hold are eaten up. You’ve never seen a kid devour a book like the kids do in Haiti. Let’s do this.