I wasn’t going to post this…But as I sat here, editing my ocean pictures…well…
I feel like Haiti taught me so much. So much about living for Jesus, about dying to self. Yet how do I take these truths and make them a part of me? Only time and Jesus can do that.
So I wrote a poem, “My Ocean Song”, but in reality, it could be entitled “My Broken Song”.
This broken world—so many of us would love to escape the rubble, the hurt, the poverty, the imperfection. Sometimes it seems more than we can bear. Somewhere in all of us lies a soul created for perfection. Is it any wonder there seems to be a gaping void inside ourselves? Is it any wonder we find ourselves longing for perfection—perfect beauty, perfect harmony, perfect unity with our Father? So we struggle. This soul created for eternity—trapped in time. We want to know why life isn’t how we think it should be. We want to know why God isn’t giving us what we think we need.
And yet, when we look at Jesus—His sacrifice, His cruel pain, so undeserved, we may understand a bit more what this life is about.
“ ‘If you cannot put the darkness out of your mind, my son,’ Peregrine said slowly, ‘maybe you should face it. What is there?’
‘The restlessness of night. The silence, and strange sounds in the silence. then—out there in the night, someone…a long way out into the garden, under those big whispering trees somewhere…there is someone weeping..sobbing…groaning. Father, there is someone in such trouble out there, I want to go and see!’ His eyes widened. He was really seeing it.
‘Go on then.’ it seemed so real that Father Peregrine felt as curious as Francis did.
‘Oh! There are stars. The darkness is not as black as I had thought. I had forgotten the stars. Its’ a garden with shrubs and trees, dark shapes. I can smell the perfume of the flowers. And someone is crying in the darkness in bitter distress. I can’t find him. I’m searching for him, looking everywhere. Wait—there, under the trees. A man, crouching, bowed down to the ground. Oh, the loneliness of him. He’s broken. He’s—he’s afraid. I’ve never seen a man in such despair..I must go and…it’s Jesus! Out here, all alone. Jesus…he was out here even before I came out. He was out here all the time, in the lonely place where abandonment and fear belong. He has always been there. I think it…it is Gethsemane.’” The Wounds of God -Penelope Wilcock
You see, this life simply is broken. Sometimes it’s extremely dark—extremely hard. Yet the exciting thing is, we don’t have to face this by ourselves. Jesus faced this tension of eternity trapped in time long before we ever did. He knows the struggle and He’s not going to leave us by ourselves.
When we ache, I believe He aches with us. When we sob, He also sobs. He truly is a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief.
So maybe life isn’t about attaining goals. Striving for perfection. Maybe it mostly about learning to walk with Jesus in our failures. Inviting Him into our struggles. Allowing Him to touch our broken lives.
Yes, I went Haiti. And there, on the roof of the house where I stayed, towards the east I could see the ocean. And as I watched the ocean, this poem was born.
My Ocean Song
I hear the sound of the ocean.
The waves, they break against rocks.
And still my heart is heavy,
The beauty still stays locked.
Yet I need to understand,
Deep within my heart,
God’s glory is shown best
When we are broken apart.
Afar, it may seem beautiful.
And truly, up close, it is.
Yet in that moment of breaking,
We must turn our face to His.
And as we look toward heaven,
When our heart is seeking sight.
The clouds will slowly start to shift
To make room for the dawning light.