I just got an email from a sort of acquaintance from my college days. Actually Diane was one of the pastors of the church Jodie and I attended and Paul, her husband helped out with youth while he spent most of his time in the seminary in order to finish his graduate degree.
To be honest Diane and I were not all that close. She was certainly friendly but when push came to shove I was more of a person on the outskirts of her realm of influence. I really wasn’t all that great a guy. I certainly didn’t dress like a church leader. And it was maybe that self image that gave me the idea that neither Diana nor Paul really cared if they ever really “knew” me. I figure everybody has people in their lives like this so you probably understand the situation. Or maybe I’m just a paranoid.
Eventually Paul and Diane moved from Anderson and settled into a church somewhere up in Michigan. Then after a few years the news started coming that Paul was having some physical problems and was eventually diagnosed with cancer. It seems that Diana now works in a local hospice program while Paul continues to go in and out of remission and continues to have less and less strength for living daily life. But they keep on holding on with a faith far beyond anything that I could ever come up with. If life hit me hard like it has this lovely couple I would fold. Then she says how much she respects and appreciates our work here in Haiti.
That’s just not fair. I wasn’t ready for that one. Now don’t get me wrong, I want people to think highly of our contribution to life in Haiti. But I feel like a real nothing when good people who are struggling every day for their last breath continue to do far more in their neighborhood then I ever did.
And So It Goes. Not only in Haiti.