Imagine not knowing colors ever existed; delete that memory from your mind for a second and imagine being born color blind. Picture a two-toned life — going about your daily routines, solely seeing in shades of black and white, totally oblivious to the color all around you.
Everything you see, every experience you have, deluded because you’re unable to view life with the detailed vibrance it was intended to be seen with.
That’s how traveling to Haiti felt for me in some ways. It was as if I had been living my entire life with a filter over my eyes, masking out the color I never knew existed in this world … and then suddenly one day, without ever really intending it at all, everything changed when I set foot on Haitian soil.
I said it when I traveled to Haiti twice in 2013, and now five years later, after returning with Mainstream, it still rings true. It’s as if, every culture, every tribe and tongue, is a different color in this great big world, and traveling to Haiti has added a collection of hues to my pallet.
I experienced vibrance when a crowd of Haitian children tackled me out of a sense of overwhelming, unconditional love strong enough to see past language barriers.I viewed new hues when, after cleaning up the crimson blood from cutting my arm on a piece of rusty metal, I returned to physical labor, prioritizing the reality of this village’s first-ever toilet.I encountered color when witnessing the transformation that took place from four days of back-to-back Bible lessons, filtered through the lips of a translator into the children’s native tongue.I was exposed to tones when gifting my bus driver with “Fruit Champagne” — a soda custom to Haitian culture that I was so sure would be a refreshing treat for him — and instead of him drinking it on the spot, he stowed it safely away to later surprise his young daughter with.
I can go on an on listing off every moment from my trip, but it all leads to one piercing truth: My eyes were opened, yet I didn’t even know they needed opening.
Each time I visit Haiti, the world gets a little bit brighter, the lens in which I see things becomes a little more comprehensive, colors I never knew existed are revealed to me, and I wholeheartedly believe this spiritual perspective shift is just as tangible and miraculous as the physical healing that takes place when blind eyes are opened.
If you’re reading this post right now, I encourage you to see in color. I urge you to sign up for a mission trip. I compel you to do whatever it takes to raise the funds and travel outside of your comfort zone so that your eyes can be opened to the things of Christ.
Because …. there’s just something about putting other’s needs before your own desires, something about how making less of ourselves makes more of God, and something about the way self-sacrifice leads to revelation.
I can see in color,
I can see the beautiful brown of my new sisters and brothers in Christ,
The washed out white of my own skin,
The blue hue and tint of the ocean,
The green grass and trees that will soon sprout with ease
Because I allowed God to choose me,
When I said I just want you to use me,