Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all—he is the greatest.”
Sometimes you just know you are in the presence of greatness.
When Bishop Juene and my dear sister, Doris walked into my home on Sunday night, I felt it.
Something more foreign than their Haitian heritage, lovelier than the Creole lilt to their flawless English.
A sort of strength. A beauty. A humble dignity that could be felt.
When they sank weary from a long day of ministry into their places at our table, instead of sighing, they delighted in the spread.
My friend Jodi had delivered the perfect feast on a cold and rainy Northwest night: thick soup, hearty breads, creamy cheeses… and raspberries! Where do raspberries grow in the middle of winter?
Dinner among friends.
Laughter echoed loud. Madame Doris chuckles with her whole body, weaving in a sort of dance of delight. The dignified Bishop shakes his suit-clad shoulders, his face filled with the joy.
When finally the talk grew quiet, my always-alert husband asked, “Now… how are you? Are your needs being met? How can we help?"
And that’s when I learned that these magnificent servants of the Most High God, these two people,
…who are revered in all of Haiti,
…whose work impacts thousands,
…who have saved who-knows-how-many from death and despair,
…who welcomed 20,000 helpless Haitians onto their property immediately after the earthquake, setting up water and food distribution and shelter,
…have never owned a home of their own.
They live with their 30 or so adopted girls, claiming one small room for themselves.
Everything they do, everything they have, every moment of their lives, is devoted to serving God by saving His children.
And I sat at that table, my shoulder rubbing against her greatness, and saw all that I have.
A beautiful home.
A place to welcome friends.
A place to hide from all the world and rest a while.
Madame Doris dreams of a home of her own where she can welcome her own two boys and their wives and a growing passel of grandchildren. The family she dreamed of when growing up in an orphanage without parents of her own.
A place to be Mom and Dad… and grandma and pops…for just a little while.
And I wish I could give it to her. And maybe I can… but I don’t know how… but He does.
And so when we huddled close to pray, I asked.
For them. For her.
Someday, Father… please?
From my heart,