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Wild Goose Chase October 22, 2017

Welcome to “The Wild Goose Chase!” The Celtic Christians called the Holy Spirit “The Wild Goose” because it was untamed and smarter than any other bird.

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

Thinking about Puerto Rico lately took me back to a short term mission I led to Haiti after the 2010 Earthquake. A memory came back, let me share: “Rising early, eating breakfast together, people who did not know each other just a week ago, quickly find each other in the morning and visit over their food. I think it’s God's way of teaching us that we are all part of the same family. Sure, some of us knew each other a little before the trip, a few knew each other better, but by and large, we are strangers on a journey, doing what God has called us to do. And THAT just warms the heart beyond my ability to describe.

We work hard today, sifting sand, hauling rocks all day long. We rotate in and out of each job without anyone having to tell us it’s time to do something new, let some muscles rest and works some others ... it’s the way God meant us to be with each other, family, trusting and relying on each other; each doing what they can to make a difference. It’s beautiful and the work goes quickly, its lunch time before we realize it and we can see the difference in the work site.

Back at the guest house in Petite Goave, we wash our hands and faces, eat the tasty meal prepared for us and rest. The spicy ham spread we had was made from scratch by mashing and grinding leftover spam and hotdogs from a previous meal, mixing it with peppers, pepper sauce and onions. And before you go YUCK, let me tell you, it was delicious and you would never have known it was spam and hotdog unless you asked. Waste of food is not tolerated here, there is often so little available. I am impressed by our Haitian sisters and brothers and how they make do rather than turning their noses up at things.

We got back to the site a little late because pretty much everyone fell sound asleep on the couch. What a picture to see our crew napping side by side sitting slumped over ... it got me to thinking ... When God told us to Sabbath, to rest from our labors, did God mean that we should do so with each other in such a way that we share the fullness of the day; the hard work and the rest? Maybe if we simply took a nap with those we are at odds with, maybe we would wake refreshed and be able to settle wars and such petty things more easily. What do you think?

That day I had a beautiful moment with Henri, an old, old man of the Petite Goave Methodist Church who yesterday came by to show us his ink pen that had a US flag on it. A man who came today to work along side of us as a volunteer. He asked for nothing, and there was not a spot for him on the contractor's crew, but this old man, he put his hand to the shovel and picked up rocks with us and, oh, how he touched hearts. Never complaining, he worked harder than any of us. I gave him a little money, bought him a coke and a pair of gloves and he was overjoyed. When you have little, it takes little to bring you a smile.

Think about that ... do you have too many possessions? Would you find great joy and blessing in a pair of work gloves, a few dollars and a coke? His smile, and words that I did not understand, they presented to me, today, my encounter with The Wild Goose, The Holy Spirit ... and on we go, chasing the Wild Goose, learning to know and love each other as children of God.

John 13:34-35 NRSV: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Remember, God loves you and so do I, and all you can do about it is love back.

Still In One Peace,