Essential, Central, Real

“Please, Aslan,” said Jill, “may we go home now?”   “Yes, I have come to bring you Home,” said Aslan  The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

Once we realized Roseline’s passport was complete and both girls’ orphan petitions were signed, we made the decision to notify the orphanage that we would be coming to Haiti to finalize the visa and bring our baby home.  We told them we would also bring Claudine home if her passport was complete in time but if it was not, one of us would return for her when she was free to go.

 It was not an easy decision on our part but one we felt we had to make.  During my visit to Haiti the month before, I became very concerned that Roseline was not gaining weight and seemed to be suffering from chronic diarrhea.  We were anxious to get her home and to our pediatrician to find out what was wrong.  Haiti was not particularly stable at the time and the presidential elections were looming.  We were concerned that if we did not go get her when we had the chance, the political situation could deteriorate and we would be unable to do so.  Also, the girls had been in separate facilities since their arrival at the orphanage almost two years before so we knew we would not be putting them through the trauma of separating them.

A few days before we were scheduled to depart, we received an e-mail from the orphanage that encouraged us to delay our travel with the hope that Claudine’s passport would be completed if they were given more time.  It was a short e-mail, but a powerful weapon of discouragement to my already battle worn heart.  I simply fell apart. 

We had already rescheduled flights once due to a similar e-mail and now, we were being told to wait some more.  I was sitting at the end of my kitchen table sobbing when my husband found me.  He knelt beside me and asked why the e-mail was so upsetting to me.

“Because,”  I cried.  “It is happening again!  I just can’t bear another open ended wait.  It is never going to end.  It is never going to end.”

With a striking strength and absolute calm he said, “We are going to Haiti.  We are going just like we planned and we are bringing Roseline home.  We are not waiting any longer.  We decided that if Claudine’s passport is not finished one of us would return for her, and that is what we will do.”

Immediately, my soul was at peace.

A couple of mornings later, in the last moments of sleep, I again began to dream.  This dream, was simply one verse of scripture playing over and over in my head.  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Hebrews 11:1

But as the verse played over and over in my dream, the word “essence” began to take the place of the word “substance”.  Later that morning, I picked up my Bible and looked up the verse.  When I saw that the word “essence” was not there, I thought at first I had been mistaken but as I studied the verse, I felt prompted to go to the dictionary and find the definition of the word “substance”.  Random House’s dictionary defines the word substance as this:  “the essential part of a thing:  essence.”

So, it was made clear to me that only one thing was lacking to bring Claudine home.  It was not political stability in Haiti, a birth certificate, or a passport; it was faith.

Faith.  It is the essential part of all things we hope for.  It is more important than all else whether it be circumstances, strength, weakness, resources, or oppression.  Faith, is the central thing, the real thing.  Faith, is all that really matters.

The day before we left for Haiti was a Sunday.  My pastor called Michael and me up to the front of the church and asked the elders to come and lay their hands on us in prayer.  My dear pastor, is a mighty man of faith, and when he prayed he asked God with confidence to let Michael and I return with two daughters in our arms, not just one.  He prayed for our protection and the provision of the children we would leave behind to make the dangerous trip. 

I can still hear the power in his voice as it joined with the voices of the elders all around us and the voices of our church family that filled the auditorium.  I can still feel the weight of their hands on my back, shoulders, head and arms as they sought God on our behalf.  They had all walked with us through the dark valley of wait.  They had cried with us and held us when we were so close to falling apart, and now they were sending us forth with power and blessing to bring these daughters that not only belonged to us, but to them as well, home at last.

And so, we turned our eyes and hearts towards Haiti.

7 Replies to “Essential, Central, Real”

  1. A most beautifully written chapter in your story. Sharing stories of faith with others is a powerful and important contribution to our mutual journeys.

    Thank you for sharing this touching and profoundly simple truth.


  2. …Truly you have to write a book.

    Always a blessing coming to you blog 🙂

    Stay blessed!!

  3. Thank you, friends. And…

    refined one: I have a book title for you! “Toussaint Loverture” by Madison Smartt Bell.

    I am not finished yet, but so far it is excellent.


  4. I love it when I see stories of people who stand on the gospel and pray and do what they need to do–whatever the outcome.

    “…the word of God is not bound.”
    –2 Timothy 2:9

  5. Hey, Sherri-
    I haven’t commented much lately, but am still here faithfully reading…I can’t stay away from your powerful story and I love to see your faith in action.


  6. Thanks, Josh. Did you get the Eddie VanHalen e-mail I sent you?

    And E-

    Thanks for being one of my five faithful readers. You are in an elite group that includes my husband, his best buddy, my writing mentor (That is you, John) and my sister.


  7. Yup. He’s a mess. But I mean look at all those ol’ rockers–the Stones are like 70? Steven Tyler? Geez. Heck, William Shatner, you know ‘Captain Kirk’ just turned 76. Its crazy, like we’re, I don’t know, under a curse or something.

    “…the word of God is not bound.”
    –2 Timothy 2:9

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