Friday, July 31

I didn't always get it

I need to laugh today so I hope you'll laugh with me.

Several of my family, friends and even you readers have written me to say very kind things about me and the time I am spending here in Haiti. You say you envy my faith, and my willingness to sacrifice and serve others. Thank you so very much, but I am here to tell you that I, ehem, was not always this way (and by no means do I have it all together today) Let me illustrate...

I recently got in touch with one of my very favorite teachers, Mrs. Brooks, who taught me in first and fifth grade (thanks to the wonderful world of facebook!). She asked what I was up to these days and I told her that I recently graduated college and of my Haitian adventures, even sending her to this blog to catch up. She told me that she is now serving the Lord in children's ministry and that she was so glad to see that the Lord had called me to his work as well. Then she recounted this humiliating, but oh so very true story...

I can remember when you were in 1st grade. I was having you write a story about cleaning your room after you read the book: Clean Your Room, Harvey Moon.

You said, "Mrs. Brooks, I can't do that."
I said, "Sure you can, Caroline. You're a great writer."
You said, "No, I can't. I don't
clean my room at home - the maid does."

Ummm, clearly, I didn't always get it.

Why do I tell you this? It's because I am so very, ehem, humble, and have no problem telling you that I have never been a brat, and have never been selfish and I have never treated people unkindly and have certainly not at all had an issue with pride over the years.

False. I am telling you this lovely childhood anecdote (that I am sure my parents are so pleased for me to share) because I was reminded this week, thanks to Mrs. Brooks, that God is so good and He is the one who changes hearts. He loves me and forgives me even when I am still a selfish, prideful brat. He has made me see that this life is not about me at all, but about knowing Him, and showing other people His love. And not just other white-middle class people like me. He loved me first, therefore, that moves me to love other people. I still mess it up a lot, but that is why I am here in Haiti.

He is why I get it now.

If you haven't heard, Malorie died this morning. I was with her for a while before I went to bed last night and had seen she was taking a turn for the worse. I still had hope. I didn't want to wake up this morning to that. I didn't want to bathe and dress her cold body. I didn't want to put that sweet blue blanket over her. I didn't want to see that little white casket. Not today, not for Malorie. I wanted to hold her more, but instead Jesus holds her tonight. And she suffers no more. She hears the voice of many angels singing, Worthy is the Lamb.

I'll fall asleep tonight clinging to that. Hoping and longing for the day when I see Malorie again. When she will smile...I never saw her smile.


cindi said...

Thanks for sharing our dirty laundry! But that is o.k., cuz you do clean your room now! And sweet Malorie will be smiling, you can bet on that! mom

JoRene said...

I always knew you were a special child. You had to be to have such sweet parents and (ahem)grandparents.You make us proud to have the wonderful attitude you have. Brad called me this morning. I was so thrilled. He is also such a sweet boy. I'm blessed to have such caring children---about God's love. I know Malorie felt your love. I do. Grrammie

elizabeth said...

I have no doubt that Malorie is smiling now; she received her miracle! She is COMPLETELY healed; the fact that we have hope of that same healing that is a miracle! Praise God for his mercy and grace.
Praying for you in your hurt and sadness until you see both Malorie and Jesus smiling at you!

Priscilla Grace said...

from one soon to be nurse to another: admiration. thanks for setting an example, i hope i can be as good a nurse as you someday. love you sweet caroline.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you get it - I didn't until I met the RHFH family. Malorie was blessed to have your love while she was there - you will never regret it. I was there briefly in March - I learned so much in my few days. You are blessed and a blessing.

Bekki O
former host mom of Saintana

Mrs. Brooks said...

My sweet Caroline, I may have remembered that story in my heart, but I always knew who you were and Whose you were. Continue to be that blessing and making a difference for eternity. You are now my inspiration in my life's work.