we read about a man long touted as a hero who discovered a new land and claimed it for a country on the other side of the ocean and I can't help but wonder what the natives thought as they watched this spectacle unfold on the sand. how strange it must have been to have not existed before one man lay his eyes upon your frame and declared you his.
and then I think about those that scribe the journey so well and how they, too, have landed on this very same island five hundred years later not to lay claim but rather to relinquish their power and the irony is not lost on me.
they have gone to see for the rest of us.
and so what are we to make of this? the boys and I study history with the hope and the prayer that we will not repeat its mistakes but we have friends who, right this moment, are in this very same place of which we read and much of what they see is the product of one long string of mistakes and it appears that we are no more the wiser.
for centuries we've mined the gold in them hills and made the beautiful "heathens" commodities. and at times it seems the earth itself wants to plumb the depths of this paradise. and so it cracks and bulges and splits apart and threatens to eat the people whole and it's tempting to think that this place has always been doomed.
and then I think about that man from Italy who thought he was sailing to China but found banana trees instead and wasn't he really doomed from the beginning too?
aren't we all?
we're supposed to know better because the world has been discovered ten times over and we've put our fingerprints all over creation but yet we still sail so indiscriminately that I'm certain we're about to fall off the edge of the globe any day now. what are we supposed to make of these lands that we once claimed for glory but from which we now turn our heads? how are we any different from that man who sailed west to go east, who landed in paradise only he didn't know it?
aren't we all just restless souls awaiting resurrection?
so we read and we ponder and my youngest boy asks the hard question of why would someone be so arrogant and entitled and I shiver in my bones because I know that he has just described my own heart. I recognize the ambition that lies deep within, the desire to do great things mixed with the expectation that with such will come great reward and I know it. I know that a heart that beats for its own gain will only end up in chains.
so I pray. I pray that the history that is carried on my back will lose its stench and will be redeemed. that the plague on my household will be broken and that I might recognize that the stranger is not them but me. and all of these broken pieces?...the land...the people...my heart...that they would be places where the light might enter in.
today's post is dedicated to the Help One Now team of bloggers who are currently in Haiti, chronicling their experiences and challenging us all