::The Haitian Chronicles::
The laundry was just dry enough not to drip, the best that the tiny ill-behaved washer could do. I snapped the shirt roughly, trying to spray off any excess water. Even in the eighty degree weather, it would take all day to dry.
The line dipped under the weight and I smiled over the top as Meg shook the wrinkles out of a beige skirt. We both continued to work silently.
The men’s voices from the other porch drifted across the yard. It still felt so strange, this understanding a foreign language. What used to sound like background noise now formed words that formed thoughts.
My husband was telling a group of men the gospel story. How I love my evangelist.
As the last piece of laundry was placed over the line a statement from one of the men made me turn my head.
“If God cares about me then why can’t I find work to provide for my family?”
Ouch. God? In Haiti the unemployment rate is over forty percent and two-thirds of the “employed” people do not have formal jobs. It’s a big deal. It’s hard, much harder that we Americans can even understand.
I watched my husbands face. How would he respond? What response was there?
“Do you think God cares about me because I have work and money?” He asked the question gently and the men chorused affirmation. In their eyes it was simple: God loved us because he made us Americans. We got opportunity. We got ability. We got white skin. End of story.
“So, if God cares about me,” he continued, “then why can’t my wife have babies?” The questioned stunned them all into silence. In their culture, having children sits on the same level as having money.
The men, now lacking words of argument, listened as he went on. “I’m not saying that God doesn’t care about me. He does. But I don’t get all the things that I want, even if I’m American. God’s favor is not based on worldly things. Not money. Not babies. Not nationality. Nothing here…”
Their conversation drifted out of earshot. I went inside to prepare rice and beans for lunch. My husband came through a few minutes later to get his Bible.
He came over to me. “Tash, do you mind if I give this away?” The second year of our marriage I had scrimped and saved to buy to him a leather bound Bible for his birthday, which he held in his hands. ”One of the guys can read English but he doesn’t have a Bible.”
“Of course you have to give it to him,” I said. Our eyes met for just a moment and I hoped, prayed, that the pride I felt for him showed. Because it is so, amazingly wonderful to know that God is using your husband. Speaking through him. Touching lives through him.
And nothing is more wonderful than knowing that God is working to redeem your pain.
It’s the story that He’s been teaching me. This story of redemption. It’s the story of Jesus and it’s His story for me.
“I’m in the business of redeeming…” <– He said these words to me, almost ten years ago now. And God doesn’t change.
God may someday give us a miracle. Maybe more than one! But there is sorrow, even in miracles. Nothing, no matter what it is, will take away the sorrow of my years without babies.
But even one more soul in heaven is worth a lifetime without children.
And that is something I believe with all my heart.