Ever since I caught wind of Haiti, a high-octane passion has fueled my approach. I was aware of all the problems in the country, but my evangelical background and my middle-class roots fed me American idealism by the spoonful.
As I’ve grown older and explored outside of my home, I have experienced bad first hand. I’ve seen people die, been taken advantage of by friends, and to my astonishment, I have failed endeavors.
I was aware going into this journey how many projects fail, and I studied the reasons. Almost ubiquitously, the error was made in moving too fast. Organizations feel the adrenaline of getting something done, and the satisfaction propels them ever faster into the hands of the neediest. Along the way, it is too easy to be worn down by the snags and corrupt people.
The problem is, we have been collectively bad ever since our creation. For thousands and thousands of years we have cultivated a world deeply corrupt, and no fix is going to be quick. Changing hearts isn’t simple and it can’t be mass produced. For this reason, Mission Kite String’s aim is methodical and careful, collaborating slow and deep.
While professionally I know that to be the facts, my heart constantly abhors the notion. I want to trust, to believe, to love, and skate across the surface of passionate giving, but everything needs its checks and balances.
A year ago when my friends and I set out to explore the United States, I was witness to a country I had only known through books and movies. I stepped outside of Iowa and discovered a difficult and hard world with challenging places and mean people.
More so has this experience multiplied in my efforts to work in Haiti. My youth was cultivated by people promising me I could do anything, that God works miracles and his power to change hearts is irreparable. But ever since I stepped foot here, the harsh realities of death, hunger, and health have taken up arms and been fighting with that evangelical ideal I once clung so tightly to.
From years of fighting back, my heart is tired, my passion dented, and my soul weak. However, I believe in a different option. Not an idea of cynicism or idealism, but of rational and methodical love. Perhaps the same practicality that is held by the organization I help lead is the answer to the crisis of my heart.
As we grow older we are exposed to a difficult world. The easy choice is to consider it a lost cause and submit to cynicism, like most have chosen with Haiti. The more I learn about this country, the more corruption is exposed. The same statement could be exposed with my own heart, with America, and dare I say, humanity itself. It’s like when you start knocking the rust off your car until you realize that there isn’t any frame left.
And now we are left with a choice, to throw up our arms and quit, give into apathy, or the much more difficult choice to stand strong in your ideals. These days it is easy to see the green grass on the other side, but I choose not. Though I’ve seen and heard plenty of wrong for me to justify giving up, I choose not. I will not let my soul harden or my passion elude, and most of all I wage the hard war of keeping my heart soft.
To know the broken and crooked world we live in and choose to love it still. That is the choice we have to face every day, and the choice is for each one of us.
To know the world and love it still.