To finally sit and rest is a relief. I feel exhausted and humbled. Shortly I will return to the safety and comfort of my home. My wife that I love dearly will be there. Words like disease and cholera; malaria and filth will drop from the regular use of my vocabulary. I’ll pick up my dry cleaning. The check out person at Publix will greet me and ask why I missed out on last week’s specials. Brushing my teeth won’t be a challenge. Hot clean water will actually flow when I turn the shower handle. Shortly I’ll return.
I’m not sure God ever wants us to fully return to anything but Him. 1400 beautiful people cherished by God, acting with a simple defiant courage came through the clinic this week. In that time I was amazed by many things. Certainly the generosity and risk of those who received God’s care through our team was paramount. Their gestures of deep trust and vulnerability to those from the outside were bold. The leadership of Dr. Matt Tincher and Todd Moore was pure and focused; birthed from a servant’s heart that mirrored the passion and song of Jesus in Philippians 2. Supremely though we witnessed the heart of the capacity of the gospel of Jesus to give life in a world bent on death. Cold water and Word were dispensed in great portions. Touch and embrace among those who are not touched or embraced was welcomed like the return of a long lost friend. Clean food and prayer, antibiotics and medicines for all manner of relief and healing were dispensed.
What we left in large portion and received ourselves was the powerful faithfulness of God who can keep promises against all odds. Everything we did was grounded in God’s capacity to keep promises. That may sound obvious but I’m not sure we’re true believers when it comes to fully embracing that truth. We live in a world of surplus surprises that outrun our capacity to control or predict or explain or contain this amazing God who I believe, does not want us to fully return. If we ever get that, it will not only violate our control, but it will change how we see Him. The impossible power of God will overcome our tightly disciplined, fearfully guarded notion of what is possible. Then and only then will the gospel be lived out in the greatness of serving others. This amazing God, “—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not” (Rom. 4:17). That is what we witnessed as this last day closed. That is also what we entrust our lives to as this next day begins.
Dr. Doug Varnado, Sr. Pastor of Community Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee spent this past week with Mission Discovery in Port au Prince, Haiti where he was a part of a 30 member Mission Discovery medical team. See the full blog by clicking here.