But as anyone who has visited knows, coming home can be much, much harder.
In the destruction and despair of Port-au-Prince, it is impossible to hide from God. It is impossible to ignore the idea of some greater power, some higher meaning, some universal truth guiding our days, our nights: Our prayers for hope.
But home in America, deep within the comforts of modern creation, it seems for these truths we must search. We must take every day with the intention of seeking the goodness in the world, of serving the needs of others, of finding the true joy within our own hearts amidst the noise of contemporary distraction.
Passing these few weeks at home, before departing on my four-month stay covering the presidential elections in Haiti, I could not be more grateful to call that home, Asheville, North Carolina.
Seeking refugee in these fertile mountains, I can find this greater goodness in the community we've created, the city we help build every day; the Ashevillian culture so uniquely ours.
There may be nothing more unique in Asheville than the JUBILEE! community. Three Sunday's I spent in their company, listening to stories from both the Bible and the Tao Te Ching, singing everything from Jimmy Buffett to the Grateful Dead and soaking up the wisdom of musician-turned-Minister Howard Hanger.
This quarter JUBILEE! is celebrating “via Positiva,” the art of saying Yes! to life. This morning embracing the concept of servitude through love for others, opening with The Beatles, “With a Little Help from my Friends.”
A spiritual man in Haiti, called Ralph for short, once gave me the secret to all the world's troubles. The personal, global, financial or spiritual problems of the world, he said, all have the same, simple solution.
“We need to love more.”
Through the JUBILEE community, Hands on Asheville's Shake and Bake veterans lunch, local Josh Phillips' new project; the Overflow Jug Band, my friends, neighbors and even the tourists: Asheville has done more than just softened my return to the developed world.
Asheville has given me hope that we Ashevillians cannot only learn to understand Haiti, but also help Haiti to begin to change the world.
Because in Asheville, there is simply no shortage of love.
“We may wonder whom can I love and serve? Where is the face of God to whom I can pray? The answer is simple.
That naked one, that lonely one. That unwanted one is my brother and my sister. If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
from JUBILEE!'s Meditation Readings, collected by Anne WrayRead the full article