Hanging Out in the Tension

Jun 1, 2009

Five days until Haiti.

A raging case of nerves has kicked in, which happens right before every trip I’ve taken like this. I’m thinking things like “What can I possibly do to make a difference in a little over a week?” and “What if my selfish nature rears it’s ugly head and I don’t feel like serving?” and “Is it arrogance to leave comfort for a week knowing I’ll quickly return and leave the reality of poverty behind again?”

There’s a sickening tension in all this, and I don’t think I’m supposed to relieve it. I’m uncomfortable. I need to live with it, allow the tension to camp out in my gut and keep me wrestling with the all the implications. I don’t want this trip to be poverty window-shopping. I don’t want this to be more thinly-veiled self-absorption or a glorified vacation. I simply want those I meet –in Haiti or Denver–to know they’re loved and worth the world, according to the God who has their names written on His palm.

But who am I to be the messenger? I’m coming off one of the toughest seasons of my life. I’ve messed up in more ways than I can count. I may have a house and enough food in the pantry to feed a small country, but I’m poor with nothing to offer but my own poverty of heart and a belief that there is a God in heaven who loves more deeply and forgives more completely than I will ever be able to replicate or understand.

I hope my nothing is enough.


  1. Diane Shaw

    I am so glad that God uses the foolish things to confound the wise. The wise would say you need to have special training to go into other countries and have an impact.

    The “foolishness” of God says you just need to have a heart filled with LOVE for people.
    Michelle, you are equipped because your heart is tender, humble and full of love. Job 8:21He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.

  2. alece

    your poverty of heart means He can overflow it with Him.

    your nothing is more than enough.

  3. Michele

    Diane and Alece … thanks.


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