Sleeping in the Ash Heap

My husband wrote a blog post yesterday about rising from the ashes. I teased him about how I know just what its like to be right there with him, like Job's wife, enduring by his side. Honestly though, quite a few years back when we were smack dab in the hey day of our regular missions lives we had an interesting experience.

We took a team to a village called Roche-a-Bateaux in Haiti. The ride there was long and arduous like most traveling in Haiti is, but in an uncovered truck bed on a pile of luggage with all of the dirt and grime raining down on you along with the hot sun. We were thankful to arrive at our destination. My hair was tangled and dust covered, my skin sun-burned. Being the only married couple on the trip I had the option to sleep on a cot in the house we had rented for the team, or to sleep alongside my husband in a open air brush arbor canopy. I, of course, chose my husband over the comfort of a cot and a roof over my head. The view from our little sleeping area was breathtaking looking over the sea, and even in the dark you could hear the soft lull of the waves.

What I failed to mention is my ineptitude in properly packing for this trip. I didn't remember to bring along our linens, so as we were settling in to bed that night we realized my oversight. Some sweet team members donated their top sheets to us so we had a sheet to sleep on right on the concrete, and a sheet to cover us. I had to take our towels and roll them for use as pillows and in the dying sunlight we failed to notice that at our heads was a pile of ash. See this brush canopy was actually for a nice little bread oven and later that night we realized that we had stolen the beloved bed of the local guard dog who sat over to the side of us all night letting out little growls to remind us of his displeasure at losing his favored sleeping area.  We were literally sleeping in an ash heap, but I was with my beloved and so my sleep was sweet.

 What a magnificent metaphor for my life. I could have chosen the cot and the protective walls, but I probably would not have remembered the trip. Forgetting pillows and sheets, no comfy mattress, the dog growling all night. But also, the sea air, the solitude of sleeping outdoors, the gentle lullaby of the ocean below us. Was the ash heap comfortable? No. But we were in it together and I wouldn't trade that for all the five star hotel rooms in the world.


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