Misty Garrison » Gathered Fragments

{remembering haiti ~ cami}

{photo courtesy of Jeff Berg}

It was tough deciding which to write about first ~ Cami or church, church or Cami. Because church was my first real experience with Cami, so they really go together. But there was so much that happened in the sanctuary and my heart that day during church that it really needs a post of its own. So Cami it is!

Fresh off a tiresome day of travel. Hours of standing in the heat going through customs. Another few hours waiting on the bus for “those other girls” to join us. Playing high speed chicken through Port Au Prince. A sleepless night listening to that dear rooster crow. Before the praises even reached the roof top, I came face to face with my Lord. But first, a little background information.

I know it may surprise some of you all, but I have issues. Some serious, some not so much. But all with the capability of rendering me useless for the kingdom if I allow them to reign. Where I am gifted, I’m gifted. And where I am not, I’m NOT. Just so happens that handling severe disabilities with grace is one of the many areas in which I am lacking. Although God used a little season of working in a developmentally delayed pre-k class to bring me along, it is still not my strong suit.

Church on Sunday morning in Haiti. I find myself sitting on the end of an aisle. And who do you think they wheel right up beside me? Precious, beautiful, amazing Cami. My heart panics just a bit. Really, Lord? Now? We are going to do this already? The first day here and you are working on me like this? Are you sure? Shouldn’t I get a warm up lesson first?

And then the real questions. Will I be enough? Can I do this? And the truth is no I won’t and no I can’t. But he is and he will. He always does. And so I look into her face & smile. And what do I receive in return for my meager efforts? The most radiant smile this side of heaven. And I get to look into the deep brown eyes of Jesus. Because he is there. In her. Smiling back at me. Knowing that I am far more broken than she. “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me'” (Matthew 25:40).

And as I look down at our arms intertwined ~ a chocolate and vanilla candy cane, I am overcome. And undone. The veil has been removed and I am standing in the Holy of Holies. All the while wondering to myself, “Who am I, Lord, that you are mindful of me?” (Psalm 8:4). That you would consider me “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). That you would orchestrate my life in such a way to place me here in this moment for the honor & privilege of ministering to you in her.

In the small village of Neply, Haiti on a bright Sunday morning. I stroked Cami’s arm. I cradled Cami’s hand in mine. I smiled with Cami’s smile. I took hold of her head with both my hands and gently placed it upright again in her chair. Again & again. All the while singing praises with my Haitian brothers and sisters. Tears of joy streaming down my face.

And suddenly I realized the meaning of the verse in Ephesians 2 that says, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus…” I finally understood the mystery of how I could be here with her and up there with him at the same time.

Thank you, Cami. For smiling when I smile. And loving unconditionally. For welcoming my touch. And showing me Jesus. Thank you.

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