The Bigger Picture Really is Quite Small
Its easy to look at the worlds problems — the orphans, the hunger, the violence — and think “its all so far away.” That there’s nothing you can do, that it doesn’t really affect you.
Let me tell you a story about how tiny this world is we live in. A story about the journey we take, carefully watched over by a God who loves us with such passion He wants us to be a part of His story.
This is a story about those moments where we get to glimpse the giant tapestry He weaves with the threads of our individual journeys.
As I sat at my desk in early December compiling a list of all the people I had met over the years I thought back to a trip I took up the coast of Haiti one Sunday afternoon in 2015. That afternoon I met a boy named Makendy at the Ebenezer Glenn Orphanage in Dessalines, Haiti. I only spent a couple hours there, I didn’t get to know Makendy as well as I would have liked, but I had some cute shots I wanted to share. One of my favorites was of Makendy sitting on a bench Ken — his guardian — had made motioning for me to come sit by him. I thought about how I wish I had had more time to sit and learn the stories of all the children.
So I posted the photo on Instagram with the caption, “Will you pull up a seat and listen to my story?”
I scheduled a short blurb about the trip into my blogging schedule and moved on.
…. and then it happened.
One of those moments where you cross paths with someone in a way that can only be described as divinely inspired.
Of the 500million people who use Instagram, I received a direct message from ONE of them, Annessa. Of the 52million photos uploaded to Instagram every day, Annessa had seen my ONE photo.
“I saw this and immediately thought of this boy I met in Haiti 3 years ago,” she wrote. “Is this him?”
I recounted the brief moments I met Makendy.
“Oh my goodness it is him!” she exclaimed, and told me about a trip she and her sister, Tiannah, had taken to Haiti 3 years ago.
Tiannah writes as follows:
I met Makendy in 2013. We were visiting the orphanage he was staying in and as we got there from our walk I was welcomed by beautiful smiling faces and warm hugs from children. There was one little baby who particularly caught my attention. He had a wobbly little walk, a huge smile, and was gently petting a dog. I walked over to him and asked one of the ladies his name and his story. I learned that he had been dropped off at the orphanage as a newborn who couldn’t be taken care of by his mother and might not have made it. Yet there he was, full of life, smiling and laughing. I stayed with him for most of my visit at the orphanage and would go to him the other times we went there during our stay in Nan Wo. I walked around with him, holding his hand, held him, and he even fell asleep on me. We played with lizards in the shade and whenever he would touch the lizard’s tail he would giggle at the feeling of it. I loved spending time with this sweet boy and wanted so badly to bring him home with me. I continue to pray for him to fall deeply in love with Jesus and for his life to continue to be one full of choosing joy and laughter and fighting the good fight no matter the circumstances. He is a sweet boy who’s smile I’ll always cherish and remember.
On August 2, 2015 the Costons — Missionaries at Nehemiah Vision Ministries (NVM) — ran up the coast of Haiti to get some custom cabinets from their friend Ken . Lilly and Ben — interns at NVM — and I hitched ourselves to the trip just minutes before they drove away.
It was a great break from the normal, slow-paced Sundays on campus. We drove up the beautiful Haitian coast. Ocean views, through the markets in Saint Marc, curving the coastline as the deserts gave way to lush banana groves and rice patties.
We arrived at the Ebenezer Glenn Orphanage (EGO) and all joked with each other about this “strange green stuff” on the ground as there was no grass in the area of Haiti where NVM is located.
Nate and Tennille introduced Lilly, Ben, and I to Ken and Marla Drowley who live at EGO then we met Dahicha and, of course, Makendy. We took a tour, met some of the other children, and then it was time for us to leave.
It rained a good part of the 3 hour drive back to NVM, as Lilly and I passed the time singing Taylor Swift songs, soaking wet, in the back of a pickup truck. It was awesome.
… and then I filed these moments away to be randomly dusted off one December afternoon in 2016, over a year later.
Its moments like these that remind me how small our world really is, and are perfect examples of how I don’t believe in coincidence.
It not only was a reminder that God has called me to walk this journey and use my talents in this way, and that I am reaching people with my work.
It was also a reminder or two very important things that govern my journey.
1. God’s got this. He’s in control of it all.
2. It’s a small world, and we’re all members of ONE and only ONE Kingdom. We’re brothers and sisters and none of us exist independently of one another.
So the next time a problem seems too big, too far, or too hard, remember that what happens to “those people over there” effects your life too, and it maybe closer than you think.