“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 118:1
During the first year that I lived in Haiti it soon became evident that most of the holidays I was accustomed to as a Government employee in the U.S. were not observed in Haiti. February 2nd, Groundhog Day was one of them. I never saw a groundhog or any other wild creature that resembled one in Haiti other than a rat. About the only thing I could find that was similar in size and color was one Nana’s pups and they were called ‘te chen’; but they were dogs and not hogs. The search for ‘groundhog’ in Haitian Creole brought up ‘te kochon’ and that brought about the idea of a pig to my Haitian co-workers and that was something that was eaten and I quickly explained that we didn’t eat groundhogs on this day.
Even telling of the tradition of Groundhog Day and that if it sees it’s shadow there will be six more weeks of winter and if it doesn’t then spring will arrive early really meant nothing to my Haitian friends as at this time of the year the high temperature is 85 and the low is 70…every day. There were three holidays we shared in mutual observation; Christmas, Easter and Ascension Day and they were the only ones that really mattered. Those three are the reason for Hope for the people living in Haiti, the U.S. and all over this planet. Celebrating our man-made holidays is really meaningless when held up to those three Holidays. Those three provide Hope and Salvation and we should always be reminded that the long list of worldly holidays is merely for human entertainment. As you watch for the shadow of a hog today, be reminded of the One who created this day.
Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
May God be with you…Jay