Open Up

By | 7:35 AM 3 comments

It is within my natural personality bent to be a bit of an introvert.

And the older I have gotten I realize I may have some hermit tendencies.

According to a recent personality test I took (because lets face it, we all like a good egocentric evaluation of ourselves, eh.) I am an introverted harmony-seeking idealist.

Yep. Sounds about right.

That doesn't work here.

In Haiti, because we don't have AC, we leave every window open all the time to invite natures AC in, in hopes of cooling off the sweat dripping off the backs of my knees.

Where we specifically live, in Delmas 31, on Rue Ann #4, our house is literally feet away from our neighbors with just a concrete wall separating us. With their windows open. And actually, the neighbors to our right are "squatters" who don't even have windows, but just live in an open yard with crude shelters to sleep in.

This means we hear everything.
And they hear everything.

They hear when we discipline our kids. We hear when one of their kids is crying or when they fight. They hear when we sing the Sonic the Hedgehog theme song at the tops of our lungs because we like to watch Zoe dance to it. I hear them grinding their herbs in their mortar and pestal at 5am. They hear me washing dishes. I hear their gates open and close. They hear our showers running. I hear their buckets washing.

This sharing of a life so intimately with people...strangers, is far removed from our typical American life. We lived in a neighborhood setting in North Carolina and were close with many of our neighbors...but not like this. This sharing of those private moments, unfiltered, un-restrained, unembarrassed. It just is the way it is.

Sometimes I will be standing at my sink washing dishes and I can hear the woman across the wall washing her dishes. And I smile.

I am coming to like this sense of community that living a life opened up brings.

The thing about opening up is that I become free to be filled.

Filled with love for these people, with friendship and relationship, and a sharing in their community.

Haiti is destitute and corrupt and broken on so many levels. 

But they are rich in community.

They share their lives with each other on a much more intimate level than American's do. They don't close themselves off or settle for fake social media interactions.

I may never be an extrovert, but I am allowing myself to open up, to embrace this broken yet oh so beautiful community God has placed me in.

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susan said...

Beautifully said.

Tasha Via said...

Beautiful post, Jenn. I love watching you open up from afar:)

Tonya said...

Just beautiful.