Posted: June 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

I am lovingly tortured by those around me about my obsession with our dogs.  I justify it by claiming they continually keep us safe with their guarding skills.  Their massively huge, sleeping forms keep the thieves away.  It’s true.  Marley, the senior mastiff, charges the gate with youthful vigor and ferocious barking if a man comes near.  Then he sleeps for the rest of the day.

We just added 6 mastiff puppies to the dog population.  It was a mission event since two people births were going on at the same time and I had to leave the dog watching post and head to the human births.

Our female Annie delivered 6 healthy puppies through the night with no human intervention as is natural and perfect.  Morning came, people entered and labor stopped.  The births stopped.  Eventually she delivered six more stillborn puppies.  Six live and six dead.

Perfect, healthy looking and dead.  Sad.  I’ve seen a lot of death – most of it human.  It makes me sad, angry and confused.  I question God.  I ask Him lots of questions that I don’t get answers to.

Yesterday I was asked to do two HIV tests for a mother and child.  They were negative!  The reason this mom and son were tested was the mom’s 19-year-old sister just tested positive and is already sick.

We waited the eternity long 20 minutes for the test to give it’s sentence.  When I whispered “negative” the young mom started worshipping and saying “thank you Jesus” and then she started sobbing “my sister, my sister”.  Such empathy.  Sadness and joy hand in hand.  Grateful, relieved, joy mixed with crushing sorrow and dread for a loved one.

That is our human experience.  Sadness and joy woven together like co-joined twins.

One making the other matter more.

The six living puppies bring us laughter.  They wrestle, lay in their food, and look like little bears wobbling on all fours.  We watch them sleep all nestled together.  The six living mean more because there were six lost.  Six who were perfect but never took that first breath.

Even John likes them and occasionally peers into the puppy room and remarks how cute they are.

Sorrow causes us to treasure joy all the more.  We get how precious it is.

In Haiti we have more than enough sorrow to go around.  People live on the edge.  One push and they’re gone.

A sister, rejoicing in her good health status but weeping for her loved one who is not so fortunate.  Joy and sorrow – making us who we are.  Teaching us to be better still.

Beth McHoul

  1. Stephanie says:

    Such a thoughtful post, and so true.

  2. Sarah D says:

    Ahh Beth, Mwen manke ou! I read this recently “The only way to know strong faith is to endure great trials.” -LB Cowman (missionary in China) and it made me think about the price of the faith of the Haitian people (and the people who love them). Love your post. Thanks for writing.

  3. MBS says:

    Beautiful post, Beth. Thanks for making it possible for us to understand the line between sadness and joy, because, I don’t know about the rest of “us”out there, but not many of us get that.

    Blessings! (I always love when you write, Beth 🙂

  4. Sami says:

    It’s so confusing. I suppose that is where faith comes in.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s