May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships – so that we may live deep within our hearts. May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people – so that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace. May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war – so that we may reach out our hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy. And may God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in the world – so that we can do what others claim cannot be done, to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor. Amen. -Franciscan Benediction
This prayer weighs on my heart as I look towards a couple of weeks in Haiti. There are such rich emotions when I think about this country.
I look forward with eager anticipation for another year to celebrate what God’s doing with nearly 300 Haitians (formerly orphaned children, adoptive parents and a great staff). This is a privilege, and one I don’t take lightly. There is also much suffering. It abounds in the stories and scars on the children’s faces, in the huts and in the gaunt faces of villagers.
The more I go, the more I learn about both. And as I weather that range, I pray for a heart that continually learns to balance this tension with grace.
The Franciscan prayer? It resonates with me and with many that I work beside daily. We want to be broken by the bittersweet emotions- because it’s there that God is providing the greatest miracles every day.
It is a tension I long to more fully embrace.