About 2am on Tuesday the 26th of July we landed back at home here in Minnesota. I was excited to see my mom and aunt... They have always been beautiful to me, but for some reason, they simply glowed, and they looked so... TALL. When I hugged them, I couldn't believe how good they smelled. Little things that I may have once taken for granted, or simply not noticed at all have become little treasures from above. How soft my sheets were that first night in my own bed, or how incredible a hot bath feels. I am definitely changed, I have a vast appreciation for things that once were simply ordinary. I have yet to shave my legs, or put on make-up, as it seems a bit trivial, and I know the day I go back to work will come soon enough, and with it the full arsenal of color cosmetics.
I seem to be more comfortable in my own skin than I was prior to Haiti, perhaps when there is a greater simplicity to life certain things are unimportant. For example, water is needed to live, the process of obtaining and rationing water takes hours where for us here in the U.S. it is a matter of seconds, we have a lot more time to think about one thing... ourselves. I think there is more self addiction here in the U.S. which results in some pretty major spiritual poverty. When you live in a place that requires more time to go towards survival, the appreciation one has for that survival i.e. life seems so much greater, and God is glorified in that living.
What can I do in my own day to day life that will continually glorify God in my actions? How can I greater show my values and beliefs without speaking a word? How do I plan to keep the appreciation I've acquired fresh? What can I sacrifice in my daily life to better usher me into the changes I wish to make?
A good man once shared this phrase with me, "Preach the gospel as often as possible; if necessary, use words."
I believe something God let me see while in Haiti was how powerful actions are, language isn't a barrier unless we let it be. I want my actions to reflect Christ-like love, I want my life to be an example of grace to others. When I went to Haiti I thought of all the awesome things I was going to do for people, deliver water, love on orphans..... but in reality, Haiti did so much more for me than I could have ever done for Haiti. And for that I am eternally grateful.