A couple of days ago I made a new friend on Facebook. When I clicked on her profile page after she accepted my request, I realized that she wasn't the person I had thought. Although she has the same first name, M., as the woman I knew, she is actually married to my friend's brother.
That was OK; I was still happy to be connected to this person whom I had never met. I have known her husband since he was a kid in our school. Now this family has moved to Haiti because of her husband's skills, which are useful in this post-earthquake time. They have small children. I have been praying for them and their adjustment, and admiring M.'s courage. She's never lived in Haiti, even though her husband grew up there. This isn't the perfect time to move there.
One of the first things I saw that M. had posted on Facebook was that she had had some stuff stolen. That's always an unsettling experience. One of the items was her daughter's bed, a Pack and Play (portable, fold-up playpen) that had been in the bed of a truck. She was clearly upset.
It just so happened that I had a Pack and Play in my closet at home. Several babies have used it, including both of mine, and I held on to it because it's just a handy thing to have; it folds up, so doesn't take up too much room, and when you have guests with a baby it's easy to pull it out.
I wrote to my husband and asked him to find the Pack and Play and pass it on to my new Facebook friend, M. Meanwhile I didn't say anything to her because I didn't know if he would be able to find it or if perhaps he had already given it to someone else. Several of her friends wrote about how sorry they were about the theft and someone even said she would pray that a new baby bed would show up. M. posted that she was aware of how blessed she was. Even though her daughter's bed was gone, she had so much more than most of the mothers in Port-au-Prince that night.
The next morning, my husband gave M. the Pack and Play. She posted that somehow he had heard about theirs being stolen. She said that the "new" Pack and Play was nicer than the one she had lost.
I'm not posting this story to make myself look good for passing on something that I don't even need any more. I'm posting it because to me it is a reminder that God hasn't forgotten where any of us are right now. For M., living in a new place with young children, sacrificing her comfort and everything that is familiar so that her husband can serve the Haitian people, He provided what she needed. For me, so far from home and so desperate to do something, anything, He provided a very specific need I could easily meet. Even for whatever baby is sleeping in M.'s Pack and Play, or for the family that is storing things in it, or for the person who's going to sell it and make some desperately needed cash, God knows where those people are, too.
I didn't even realize how much all of this had affected me until I was telling my sisters-in-law about it over tea yesterday. I started to cry, overwhelmed with God's provision in this small, small matter. Will this help me trust Him to provide for the enormous needs of so many in Haiti? I hope so. I'm trying hard to trust. So many are working and planning and donating.
I pray for a place for every baby to sleep. Oh Lord, provide for them the way you provided for M.'s daughter, a place of peace and comfort and security in the middle of a crazy world, a place to take a nap when she's cranky. I pray for the babies who have lost their mothers. I pray for the ones who were born in a field. Your eye is on the sparrow. Nobody is forsaken.
4 hours ago