Ten-year-old Deannzi greeted us with a bright smile as she stood in front of her broken home. She pointed us through the rubble to where we could find her Aunt.
I told some of you that when I was in Port au Prince, just after the tragic earthquake, I met a young mother of three who was living under bed sheets, in front of her crumbled home, that sat collapsed on two of her family – turning their concrete home into to a rubble tomb.
Her name is Rosetta. I’ve had a tough time forgetting about Rosetta. I don’t think life gets any worse than when you end up living on the dirt in front of your broken home full of sorrow.
Late yesterday afternoon, as the hot Haitian sun went down and the air cooled I stopped to visit Rosetta with Tom and Matt and Rich. She’s still living on the dirt. I thought she might be and I knew that when the rains come her bed-sheet home will become a muddy pit, so I brought Rosetta a tent.
As we put the tent together it looked small. Target labeled it a “6 man” tent – it’s not that big, I wished it was bigger.
Rosetta smiled. She was gracious and grateful.
I sure wished the tent was bigger.
She said since the earthquake crumbled their home on January 12th no one from anywhere has stopped to give them anything. Deannzi’s father asked if we had another tent, they were living under bed-sheets too. We did, so we set up another tent for Deannzi’s family. As we finished putting up the tents Rosetta warmly thanked us again; I still wished the tent was bigger.
I guess I had wanted to do something bigger. The team of 19 from The Grove was a mile away building a new dorm for orphans; that felt big. The Grove is building a 12,000 sq. ft. gym for African Bible College in Liberia; that feels big. This bright green tent, dwarfed by slabs of broken concrete piled high behind it, looked small.
The lime green, “6-man” tent was the biggest one they had at Target, but I know I could have found a bigger one if I had just tried harder. I really wished I had looked harder for the biggest one I could buy. But I thought I was busy and didn’t have time.
After we said goodbye to Rosette I told Tom I wished the tent was bigger. Tom said he thought the tent was good. He said, It’s better than the dirt that will turn to mud when the rains come, plus the brilliant green tent seemed to really brighten Rosetta’s day.
He was right, it was good to see Rosetta smile.
I guess I say all this to remind all of us – remind me – that sometimes the world’s trouble seem so daunting that we begin to believe that my effort will be too small to matter, what I do is “just a drop in the bucket.” So at times we choose to do nothing – rather than something small.
Tom’s words reminded me that God has a way of using our small efforts too. Because isn’t it true that God uses one person to touch one life at a time.
So maybe on some days it’s okay to do the small things that are good.
Because on some days maybe God wants to sprinkle heaven just one drop at a time.