May is an interesting month. We tend to associate it with warm weather, pretty flowers, college graduations, and weddings. But the truth of the matter is, the next few days and weeks carry some painful anniversaries. May is when we lost a lot of special people, including my mom. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. In the midst of everything, we are also dealing with heartache and hurt here – inside and outside of the compound.
It would be easy to let these events and memories bring us down (and trust me, some days they definitely do). But I don’t believe that God wants us to stay in those dark places. If we’re willing to look beyond that which causes us pain, He will give us things to bring us out of the abyss.
Enter Jonathan and Cleevens.
Most days, I love these two guys. OK, every day I love them, but it’s not always lollipops and rainbows with them. Kinda sorta sounds like relationships with everyone everywhere, no?
About two weeks ago, they showed up at our house looking to borrow a plastic tote. I wasn’t too concerned about why they needed it since we didn’t have one available. As it turns out, they wanted something that would hold a bunch of mangos.
Haiti is a wonderful place to be if you are a mango lover, especially in the months of April and May; they literally fall from the trees when the wind blows. The staff is feasting; the folks in town are feasting; even the goats and chickens are feasting on mangos these days.
What Jonathan and Cleevens knew, however, was that folks up in the mountains were not. They don’t generally get this treat because there aren’t a lot of mango trees in the mountains. At least, not where Tim and the guys were headed to later that same day.
Whenever I catch myself starting a pity party, I think of this event. I think of how these two men recognized that there are people in Haiti who live in circumstances more difficult than their own. Visitors here would be shocked at how these men live, but Jonathan and Cleevens know that they have it pretty good, relatively speaking. I think of how they wanted to do something special for those less fortunate as a way of saying, “We remember you.” I picture the faces of the people in the mountain community and what a surprise it must have been for them to find a large box of mangos nestled amid the many bags of sand that were being delivered that day. Though I have no right to feel this way, I’m like a proud mom watching their child do something special for someone else without any prompting.
Yes, God gives us moments to bring us out of the darkness and there is true beauty amid the dust, poverty, pain, and hardship. We just have to be willing to see it.
“I once was lost, but now I’m found. Was blind, but now I see.”