Patient from Haiti Medical Clinic
Our imitation of God in this life ... must be an imitation of God incarnate: our model is the Jesus, not only of Calvary, but of the workshop, the roads, the crowds, the clamorous demands and surly oppositions, the lack of all peace and privacy, the interruptions. For this, so strangely unlike anything we can attribute to the Divine life in itself, is apparently not only like, but is, the Divine life operating under human conditions.- C.S. Lewis, from his book The Four Loves
A good friend of mine recently sent me a quote by C.S. Lewis (see above) which described a Jesus unlike I had ever pictured. If you were to ask most people what Jesus "looked" like or what His characteristics were, you would probably hear words like, "holy," "patient," "kind," "healer," "forgiving" and "God's son." All of those would be true but I challenge you to see Him in another light, or rather, more easily relatable to our lives.
You see, over the last few months, I have been traveling back and forth from La Romana, Dominican Republic to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The trip is long and uncomfortable for my 6 foot frame but it's something I felt called to be a part of. Something that was good and right to do. Something that I felt Jesus would have done. What I didn't think about was Jesus dealing with border guards, unruly patients, 100 degree days and 95 degree stifling nights. I didn't think about Jesus dealing with an allergy to mangoes while living under multiple mango trees! I didn't even consider that Jesus might have to deal with schedules that change every minute or the day to day dealings with personality clashes, unrealistic expectations and constant grief surrounding us. I mean, come on, He's Jesus, right?! He does the HOLY things like preaching and prayer. He gets to touch people and heal them or sit and discuss the meaning of scriptures, all the while maintaining a calm peace and never, no never losing it because of a little frustration!
Wrong. Way wrong! As I read C.S. Lewis' description of Jesus I began to see Him in another light...the unglorified team leader! He dealt with cranky co-workers, an often unfriendly or unwelcoming workplace, people who questioned every decision He made, people who stole from Him or His friends, people who expected more and more from Him no matter what He gave them and betrayal by even His closest friends. And what about a little privacy? He didn't have any! Team members often complain about having to share a bathroom for a week or maybe the guy in the next bunk that snores louder than a jackhammer. But Jesus had NO privacy at all.
People sought him out at all hours. People wanted to touch Him, talk to Him, be with Him. They wanted all of His time and energy and it still wasn't enough.
So what did He do? He got away from it all. He went to rest. Even He needed to separate Himself from all of the distractions and frustrations of the day. He needed quiet time and a time to re-center His spirit and His thoughts.
So many of us get caught up in the frustrations of life, whether it's at home, school or work. We so often see Jesus as detached or unable to really have any understanding what it's like to do our job. But look at His life! He dealt with all that we deal with and more! He gets it. And, He gets us, too. Don't be afraid to pour out your heart to Him. Tell Him how annoyed you are at work or how hurt you are because of your friend. He's been there and done that, too.
Thank you, Lord, for understanding my quirks and frustrations and loving me through it all. Thank you for going first, ahead of all of us, so that when we go through the valleys you are right there with us. Thank you!
Fund-raising efforts for my ongoing support
New teams coming for the summer months
Ability to continue bringing needed help to Haiti
Funds and purchase of a new truck for me
I pray that through the amazing grace of God
and His lovingkindness to us daily, you may know a peace that passes the
frustrations and turmoils that always surround us.
Kristy Engel, RN, MSN, CPNP
"Now during the day He was teaching in the temple, but at evening He would go out and spend the night on the mount that is called Olivet."