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Anchor 1


On Beloved Soil

While I was out of the country, the earth kept right on spinning. Affairs of the world and of our nation just kept right on happening without me, and I knew nothing of them. It seems that I'm not needed in order for life to continue here on planet earth. You are not, either. It helps me to remember that. I didn't know if there had been a new world crisis. I didn't know if a natural disaster had occurred that caused death and displacement to hundreds or thousands of people. I didn't know if terrorists or crazy men had injured or killed innocents without my knowledge. I didn't know the state of the presidential race or who was slandering who. And I didn't even know what was happening with my beloved Baltimore Orioles, nor the place that they had in the standings. There is a hot race in the AL East among three teams, and although we have been the sole owner of first place for most of the season, we had not been playing well before I left the country and we had slipped into third. Woe is me! I didn't know any of these things, nor were any of them on my mind. I was a guest in a home where electricity is not a given. Where it goes out several times a day at best, and you never know how long it will be gone. My friend has rigged up an ingenious supplemental power system for such times. He is brilliant, and I'm not kidding. Their home has wifi, such as it is, but the signal is spotty and weak. There is hot water for a shower, if you remember to switch the lever to heat it twenty minutes before you get in. The water pressure is dependant on the amount of water in the holding tank on the roof, so you don't want to be caught with a head full of shampoo when it's reduced to just a trickle. You learn to shower quickly. It was a vast improvement over the way we bathed the last time I was on the island, for then we bathed in the creek. :) This house is an incredible and wonderful place. It is a mansion compared to where they have lived previously while on the field, and is an amazing leap from the place where they started and raised their children, over in Haiti. They now live on the Dominican side of the island, and life is easy and modern by comparison. And so, two thoughts. I know things that others do not. I know them well. First, I know that there are folks here on earth who love the Lord with all of their hearts, and will quietly do anything for Him, with no regard at all for themselves or their own well being. They care little if anyone notices. They do not need the accolades or praise of men. They have died to self, and serve their Master with complete abandonment, and with no thought as to what the world thinks or does. These are my kind of people, and they are very dear to me. And, secondly, is my wonderment at how quickly and easily I can acclimate to this simple life. How easily I fall in love again with this people of Hispaniola, just as I did thirty-eight years ago. I am amazed at how little I miss the things and comforts left behind, but only yearn for my loved ones back home. I left part of my heart in Haiti all of those many years ago, and now, once again I've left more of it in the Dominican. I joked with Wes as to what would become of me if I died there on Dominican soil. I am no longer twenty-two, as I was on the first trip. He told me that he would be hard-pressed to get my body back to the states, as they only embalm in the capital, two and a half hours from his home. The oppressing heat is not a friend of the dead, and folks are usually buried a few hours after their death. I've thought about that ever since, and I have to tell you that I can't think of much that would make me happier as I drew my last breath than to know that my bones were going to rest on this island that already holds my heart. My kids can come cry over my little soil hill if they want. The weeping wouldn't last long. They know where I'll be, and they will join me soon. I am blessed above all people, and I love the Lord so much. He is so very good to me. His work amazes me. What a mighty God we serve!

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