If I’m being real – and what, exactly is the point if I’m not? – my mission has numerous facets or angles and a bunch of rough, jagged edges as well. It looks likes precious sapphire, blue just barely twinkling out of rock and earth surrounding. It is a thing to be extricated from its hard, rough shell, to be cut along precise planes by the blade of the Master, then polished smooth and bright as its impurities fall away.
My mission is not to judge or evaluate or proselytize. Just about anyone who is or ever will read this blog has heard of Jesus and His amazing grace. It is not mine to try to convince you nor is it mine to browbeat you into belief. No. That is not my mission. My mission has already been laid out there elegantly and succinctly by the amazing woman who designs this website, Susan Carol Bohannon. It is to love.
What if . . .No . . . I believe Jesus was dead-on serious when He said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Matthew 23:37-39
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Pretty strong stuff spoken to a girl who has a hard time seeing past the ugly and the not ______ enoughs when she looks in the mirror. Here’s the thing, though. I get it. Loving like that. Loving so immediately, so completely right in that moment that there is no room for not ______ enoughs or ugly. There’s no room really for self at all. There is only room for pure, true, forward moving, intentional love . . .
There was a little boy who lived on a mountain side. He was developmentally delayed and spoke only in moans. His family did the best they could for him, but there were so many other babies. At eighteen, he was the size of a five year old with the mental capacity of a nine month old. He did not know much, but he knew he loved six packs of orange peanut butter crackers and he knew that, for him “blan” (white person or non Haitian) meant love. We blans, we knew too. His name was Jean Ishmael Laurient. We called him Jean Wismay. He died this morning. I wish I could say peacefully.
The thing about Jn Wismay is, I don’t know how many blans came to their knees at the love of this boy. Or how many Haitians came to understand that different doesn’t mean damaged. We just loved him. The times I got to spend unwrapping crackers as fast as I could so he could devour them or rocking his dirt and shit covered body, singing lullaby after lullaby, as soothed by his moans as he was by my voice; those times were holy. Those times were pure love. One of God’s most precious blessings in my life was loving Jn Wismay. He is my mission.
Words cannot begin to convey the loss I feel tonight. They can speak of what I know. I know Jn Wismay is full. And comfortable. And whole. I know that as the Master cut that beautiful boy from my life, another facet of the gem shines brighter. I love better, fuller, wholer than before. As sorrowful as I am, I am joy-full too. And so grateful to this boy, this beautiful miraculous boy, for teaching me so much about my mission.