The door bell rang and there they stood, Zoe, with her light blonde hair, looking like a “Precious Moments” doll, Makalu, her sister looking so grown up in a new dress and their mom, Holly, wanting to be hugged, yet overwhelmed by her extended family.  From playing finger puppets with Zoe and playing card games with her big sis, to sharing photographs with their mom, the evening was a blur of laughter, tears and a meal shared.

When my sister came back from taking them home, she said Makalu cried because she wanted to stay with me and Holly said she had felt so much love while there, that she felt like a “Princess sponge.” In one evening I went from being a stranger to an aunt, a “mom” (Holly’s mother died when she was six) and a vessel for God, has he poured through me…what each one needed.

The next day it was off to the City of Refuge, steeped in history that spanned centuries of war then peace, a place to reflect and touch the old Hawaiian ways, while standing in the modern world. It was raining again, but this time heavy, trying to keep dry under our only umbrella, we pushed forward over black lava rocks and wet sand. Each step we took taking us further into the past.  Soaked to the skin now, the wind had joined in, I never felt more content, as I walked with my sister, each with our arm around the other. This experience would be hard to top, but the next day that’s exactly what happened. My sister took me to a church that been built in 1835, which still held services. As we entered I was drawn to a luminous artist rendering of Jesus. When you looked at the picture, the eyes seemed to follow you. Sitting down now in a pew I bowed my head in silence, then later looking up I spotted a small prayer box with pencils and blank pieces of paper beside it. Noticing now a sign now which read, “Place your prayers in here and our prayer team will pray for you,” I grabbed a stack of sheets and did not stop writing for a half an hour. Feeling now that I had served yet another purpose, I then stepped out of the church only to be met by God’s handiwork…a breathtaking sunset.

From wonderful food, to love overflowing and quiet times of prayer and reflection, I felt I had experienced everything I had been searching for, however God wanted to add yet another  element, laughter…and so he did! On one of my last nights on the island we were to finally stay at the Dragon Fly Inn. That in it self would have been most interesting, but with this (included in the price) was a Five Wishes dinner, where you brought to the table five wishes you would like to accomplish before you die.  Attending also, would be a wise elder from the island, the sweet lady I met on the plane, Courtney, a woman who traveled the world with amazing stories, our Innkeeper and some of her close friends. Arriving, we could not believe our eyes; we would be staying in a real tree house! That was “way cool” however the road in which we had to walk up…was not.  Finally reaching the top, we were ushered into the kitten where our hostess, Barbara greeted us. With her, was Courtney who shook my hand hardily and said “I’m sorry but I won’t be able to stay for dinner because I have a chanting I must go to.” With that our hostess added “Yes I’m afraid everyone I’ve invited is going also…so the evening has been canceled. “I see” I nodded “But what about dinner? My sister and I planed on eating with you” “Oh, that” she replied, later will go for a walk in my garden and you can grab what you want.”

At that moment, I envisioned biting into a head of lettuce, as my sister asked if she go exploring outside. Alone now, Barbara continued “I also had to give your suite away to a family of five, I hope you don’t mind, I’m sure we can find a place for you both…somewhere.  Deciding now to take my own personal tour of the grounds, I left as well. Returning a little later, I asked Barbara if she had seen my sister. “Yes” she said “I just sprayed her down.” What do you mean I stammered? Well, Barbara continued “Seems like the mosquitoes were eating her up” Running now out the door, back down to our car, I saw her sitting on the passenger side. Motioning to me through a closed window she pointed to the driver’s side and asked me to get in. Upon entering and shutting the door, I started to cough uncontrollably, allergic to the insecticide that was now covering her! Trying now to carry on a conversation with me standing outside the car because I could not breathe when inside and her talking with the window rolled up because was afraid to roll them down …we started laughing until we cried! My sister’s bed tonight would be a hot bath with baking soda in it, at home! Eat, well I certainly did, Love, I immersed myself in it, Pray, almost non-stop and Laugh? I still am!

Inside/Outside Did you ever feel the need to flee?
To leave, give into
An overwhelming flight response,
Not knowing where you might go

Do we think that just by altering
The direction we are headed
That somehow we will change
The outcome that we fear

Divine intervention will always
Supersede any plan
That we might have
Like your shadow, it is yours forever

What if we stayed, feet planted firm
In deep resolve and let You stay our course?
Would the end result be the same?
I have learned through many lessons, yes.

Let me know Your will,
Your hearts desire, my own now
Train me; prune me, in the faith life
That I may bear fruit pleasing to You

Inside, show me how to love unconditionally,
Free to express Your words
Of comfort and tolerance,
Let compassion fill my soul, overflowing

Outside, let my touch be Yours
Healing those who huger for it
Make my arms instruments of Your
Grace as I comfort in Your name

Inside, outside let me be,
Until You lay me down to rest,
An expression of Your boundless love...

-Heidi Haller


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