I awoke to that familiar pull on my heart to get up and go because He was waiting for our encounter. I climbed to the roof in the dark, as it was still 45 minutes until sunrise, to the place that had become my personal chapel during this mission. That encounter was interrupted as a security guard was camped out in my sacred space. The longing in my heart remained. We left early for the Home for the Dying. Eagerly I anticipated the Mass we had planned to celebrate upon arrival. I knew I could find that desired solitude with Him then. There I knew He would speak to my heart. Flexibility is an essential virtue on missions and this day, Mass was postponed until evening. The longing in my heart turned to a deep ache.
I settled the missionaries into their morning activity and made my way to the Sister’s chapel only to find the doors open but the gate was locked. I could see the tabernacle in front of me but I could not draw near. I knelt in frustration in front of the gate. As I prayed I heard Him say, “This is how I feel when you keep parts of your heart locked away from me, those parts you fear are not worthy of my love. I stand outside the gate of your heart longing to come in. For a moment I felt His longing for my heart, I felt His thirst. Each time I leave Haiti, I leave a piece of my heart there. This time, I left the key.