Tuesday, April 30, 2013

shut up and listen

Yesterday, Hallie and I were doing an art project with some of the kids. You put crayon shavings on wax paper in the design that you want to make, and then fold the wax paper over the design and iron it together. It melts the crayons and looks really awesome. Every time a child came for their turn, we explained what they were supposed to do, and then said, "do NOT touch that (the iron). It is very hot and can hurt you." The kids were busy being artistic, but one girl, Wilda ran up to the table, and touched the iron handle repeatedly and turned around and laughed. As I walked her back to her room, I explained how important it was that she needed to listen. I said that I wanted her to be safe, and that because she had not listened, she did not get the opportunity to finish her art project. As we talked, I realized how often I am like Wilda. 

I don't listen to what God says to me. Just as I want what is best for Wilda, for her to not get burned and to enjoy her time to be creative, God has my best interests in mind and often has opportunities for me to see how sovereign and how powerful He is, but I often miss them. Now, I'm not saying God's not in charge, but I am saying that I believe He calls us to live a life of obedience, and sometimes that obedience looks like choosing to listen to Him. You never know what opportunities He has in store for you. This past weekend was one of those times:

I was on the island of La Gonave, and on the way to La Source, by motorcycle, with my friend Donald. About 45 minutes into the moto ride, Donald stopped the bike. We had just been through a little town called Cetwa. This is remote Haiti- no grocery stores, no gas stations, just little houses, little churches, maybe a school, and a little stand with an air pump and a couple gallons of gas for people who come through. So, we are about a half mile outside this town. Donald said, "we have a flat tire, don't we?" Sure enough, I looked at the back tire, and it was flat. I said, "how did you know that?" and he said, "God told me to check it." Donald told me this next part after everything was over, but in his head, he was saying, "what am I going to do with her? I don't have a pump here, and the moto can't hold both of us with this tire. What do I do with this white girl?" As he is thinking this, and not saying anything verbally, I see an elderly woman stand up on her porch. She said, "just leave the white girl here, she can stay with me." The gate to her house, (a piece of tin) was blocking the bike, so she didn't even know what was wrong. All she could see was our faces. We both looked at each other and I said, I'll just walk back with you." And all of a sudden God said, "turn around and go inside." So without hesitating, I said, "nevermind, I'll stay here," and turned and walked toward the gate. Donald rode back to get the tire patched up, and I walked inside the house. Now you may be thinking, you didn't hesitate at all? And honestly, no I didn't. I realized that I was the only American within 30 miles of this place, and didn't even have my knife with me. But that voice was so loud to me that I didn't even question the idea. I just went in. I was thinking, "okay, I speak a little Creole, we'll see how this goes. I don't even know anyone in this whole town." Or so I thought. 

I sat down on the porch with this sweet woman, and we started talking. All of a sudden, I see a face peer around the corner. I gasped and said, "I KNOW YOU!" and he said, "Yes LaLa, I know you too." He said, "Mackabi"and I just squealed and hugged him. Mackabi and his twin brother LoLo used to live in La Source. The last time I was there, I kept looking for them, but someone said that they had moved away. The boys had moved to Cetwa to live with their grandparents because their parents are dead. When LoLo came home from getting the family water at the well, we spent the hour catching up. They asked about everyone that they remembered, and we talked about why I was going to La Source for the day. The boys are 13, going to school and church, and eating every day. At the end of the hour, Donald came back on the bike, we said our goodbyes, and then we continued on to La Source. What would have happened if I had not gone into that house and had walked with Donald? We would have fixed the bike and then gone on our way. But the encouragement that I received from that family as we talked and were able to catch up was amazing. And it was because I listened to what God was telling me to do. Donald listened too. He stopped in front of that house and checked the tire. Right then. 

Wilda did get to finish her art project. And it is beautiful. But she also learned not to touch the iron. And she is learning how important it is to listen when someone who cares about her says something. I am learning too. I'm learning that sometimes God sets up divine appointments. And listening to Him can lead to great blessings. My time in La Source that day was great, and I am so thankful for it. But the encouragement I felt when I spent time with Mackabi and LoLo on the way there was my favorite part of the whole weekend. Sometimes all you need to do is listen. 

LoLo & Mackabi:

 Mackabi and his grandma that invited me in:

 thankful for these boys: 


  1. this is so cool Lollar! Thanks for sharing.


  2. The thrust of the Holy Spirit. So cool!

  3. I LOVE it! You ARE learning and teaching others to listen!