25 June 2011

Lessons from Soho

Normally the back entrance to the hospital has people coming and going . . . but it's not 'busy.'  But this morning, at 10:59, it was a buzz of near hysteria.  
There had been an accident between two bush-taxis (or at least that's what I was told), both packed with passengers.  As I ushered my three outpatients to my office, nearly a dozen gurneys whizzed passed us taking bloodied victims to the OR.



An hour and a half later when I was finally finished with my hand-therapy patients, I went back to the OR to see if there were wounds I could help dress or pharmacy runs I could help make.  
All life-saving operations had been finished . . . and the OR was a circus of sutures and plaster.  All hands were on deck.
I approached one of our nurse anesthetists and asked if there was anything I could do to help.  Immediately Soho looked up from the scalp he was suturing across the room and said 'Voiav k javk ajoiwej valk alwqh vijalksdjivj!' ('It's hard to help if you're standing over there.')
I've been thinking about his statement for the rest of the day.  What he was saying was it's simply not enough to ask the question.  It's good to ask . . . you don't know if you don't ask . . . but having an answer doesn't make a difference.
I love the verses that say 'If a brother or sister comes to you in need of daily food or clothing and you say to them "Go in peace!  Be warmed and be filled!" but do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?'  Hmm.  James certainly tells it like it is. 
So, I'm taking Soho's advice and passing it on to you . . . it's hard to help if you're standing over there.  Go put on some scrubs . . . there's work to do.  
No . . . I'm not asking (all of) you to hop on a plane bound for Galmi . . . but I do want to encourage you to get involved when the 'gurneys go rushing by' in your context . . . whatever that may look like.  

2 comments:

Deb. said...

Need a place to start?  Check out Jeff's suggestion: http://goinswriter.com/clean-water-crisis/ 

Leah Long said...

LOVED this. Thank you. We keep experiencing false starts, one could say, and when we get bumped back again and again, I start sort of taking on the role of spectator. I'm not going to be here long enough to get involved in this issue, that person's drama, or that friendship...etc. But next thing I know, 9 months have gone by with that rotten attitude, I've done nothing, and I still don't know when I'll be back where I was supposed to be doing what I wanted to do. I should have been doing it all along. Keep up the good work and writing. They're both inspiring to me--or sometimes just close enough to home to make me laugh and nod. Good to know someone else knows what my life is like. Thanks, Deb!