What Your Address Really Is

The bus that we boarded at the airport, it drove right through an earthquake.

It turned out of the airport like we did this afternoon, with a Canadian Compassion team on board just like ours, and somewhere on its way through the streets toward the Hotel Montana, something grabbed hold of the earth and shook it hard and the ground imploded, like a lung sunken  in.

Two years later, they’re still clearing rubble away.

Two years later my heart quakes a bit through the Port Au Prince streets and I try to remember to breathe.

The streets, they heave with people and old stoves and stacks of tires and racks of clothes and women selling food from open flames and these trucks striped and painted like rainbows transporting people to somewhere else, people looking for hope, legs and arms and feet dangling out all the sides.

This isn’t Kansas.

This isn’t Guatemala or Ecuador or some spliced news clip from CNN.

This is a smothering day in July and these are mothers carrying sweating babies in their arms and wound bags of clothes on their heads and these are fathers hawking flip flops on the corner and these are old grandfathers sitting hollow and haunted on the curbs and these are sons the ages of my boys who are standing lost in the rubble and the refuse and the reality.

I’m crazy enough to believe that this is the address of uncontainable grace.

Crazy enough to believe that even this is the thing: Wherever joy seems unattainable is right where God’s grace is uncontainable. 

The glory of His grace that can’t be contained only to the pristine and perfected and suburbian-polished but overflows into the gasping, strewn streets, that touches something, changes something, stirs something as it spills down the sides of shanty-stacked hills.

You can catch glimpses of it out the bus window: There are Haitian women in white blouses, white skirts holding out Bibles on dirty corners. There are men in ties sharing the Gospel. They are standing atop the walls that have crumbled. Caleb leans over, “See that, Mom?” And I nod because there is the whole earth and what addresses on earth can ever bar out His glory?

There are police in army fatigues in the courtyard of our hotel.

The hydro keeps dozing black off in our rooms.

And on the day same day we drove away from the farm in the early dark and passed the wheat field ripening ready and ate crackers and pretzels at 30,000 feet, looking down at the ocean relentlessly reaching out to touch the shores of Haiti,  we stand in the dark of a hotel lobby and a member of the Compassion team reads Psalm 96 by flashlight and I can feel it, my heart tremoring hard and everything still stands:

Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth…

For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise…;
Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength…

Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth…

Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns. ”

The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;

When the light comes up, we pack gifts for the Child Development Centers. I pack flutes. I think of new songs. We could sing them, we could be the gifts. His reign is established and the earth can quake and nothing moves. Caleb, he pumps up a whole suitcase of soccer balls for Haitian kids.

I watch Caleb pumping, grinning, pumping, red faced, smiling-gasping for air.

And the balls, like whole earths, they fill with air.

I stand there smiling, nodding — singing.

There are witnesses to the inflating of lungs imploded, witnesses to all His relentless glory right here.


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

{Caleb and I are visiting the Child Survival Program of Haitian Moms 3 and babies — three hours from Port Au Prince. Pray for us? We are praying for internet connection too — so all of you who supported the 1000 MOMS PROJECT can come with us too! All is grace!}


Thanks is a word that takes us before God and into the joy of our true homeland…

Print it for the fridge and dare everyone in the family to find these 3 gifts from His hand each day:


Click here to print July’s Joy Dare! Put it on the fridge! Dare the Kids! And begin this week — this month-– right!

Count three gifts a day, 1000 gifts in 2012 (and be entered to win the NikonD90 camera?)

Thank-you is a word that can change you, your world — the whole world!


Each day of July, either share your gifts on on Twitter {label with #1000gifts #JoyDare so we can find you!}, or with us in the gratitude community at Facebook , or on Pinterest (#1000gifts).

Each day, 3 people will who share their gifts via Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest will be randomly selected & entered into a drawing for JOY BASKET: a gift card @ Amazon {100$} & {signed copies of One Thousand Gifts, the photographic gift book, the DayBrightner, and the family gratitude journal} Give thanks to Him in the assembly!

Join us? And happily change everything by keeping your own crazy list of One Thousand Gifts?

Please, jump in, make your life about giving thanks to God! — Just add the direct URL to your specific 1000 gift list post… and if you join us, we humbly ask that you please help us find each other in our refrain of thanks by sharing the community’s graphic within your post.

Give thanks to the Lord! His Love Endures Forever!

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