What do we live for? What is our daily existence? What raises us from the immanent?

I served in Haiti in the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake. What I found on the ground was not the despair reported in the news but kind villagers continuing in life. The best thing we, as Marines offered, was kindness and recognition as fellow people. They didn’t like, or need our food; they poured out our bottled water and filled the bottles from their wells (upset their stomaches less than our treated water), and we had no shelters or tarps to cover them where homes had crumbled. We played with children that followed us on patrols, gave basic first aid to those we could, medevaced those needing higher care, and only when we gave away materialism that wasn’t wanted (but perceived shortage and inequality was seen in the fact that a limited something was given away for nothing) was there ever hostility or unrest. We had reporters with us for a week. Our story was never told. It wasn’t the right narrative—but it was my first-hand lived truth.

What gives our existence perceived purpose? Do we need catastrophe and strain to confirm our place, or are we satisfied in the small, simple, and beautiful which is the way God more often presents Itself within our worlds?

I know my answer. What is yours?

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