15 June 2011

Tonight, Jesus is Speaking Hausa

Our morning was interrupted with the awful news that one of the hospital employees died suddenly and unexpectedly during the night.  He was not only a leader in the hospital, but one in the church and community as well.  He was highly respected . . . always ready with a kind smile, gentle word or a good joke.

Yesterday there was work being done on the hospital waterlines, so for a few hours, there was no running water in the hospital.  I needed to wash my hands, and word on the street was they had water in his department.  So I quick went that way and just before I pulled water from the bucket, he came running over and told me it would cost me 600cfa PER DROP!  So, I began counting.

It was our last conversation.

I did not work closely with this man, but I did interact with him on a daily basis.  At first I was a little intimidated by him, but over the weeks and months he proved to just be a big softy.

Walking to the funeral this evening, I was struck by the mass number of people who came to pay their respects.  He made a large impact and is leaving a gaping hole.

Standing there in the sea of the community, I began to think about the importance of 'the passers-by' in our everyday lives.  We don't only affect those we are close to.  The guy mopping the floor outside my office . . . the plastic cup vendor on my walk into town . . . or the guy selling limes on the side of the road . . . the guard outside the hospital gate.  Some of them know me by name, others by the nickname they've assigned me.

But regardless, we interact . . . and my question this evening was 'Am I intimidating or am I a big softy?'  How do the passers-by in my life see me.  Am I the impatient-foreigner-who-is-so-task-oriented-I-can't-stop-to-greet-them, or, like Jesus, am I being attentive to the hemorrhagic woman in the crowd?  Am I too-cranky-from-the-heat (or just because I'm cranky) to stop and buy some limes, or, like Jesus, am I pointing the woman at the well to the Light?

Who am I to the ones that don't have the opportunity to break in deeper than surface?  Do they see Deb. or do they see Jesus?


Andria said...

Praying for you and the hospital staff tonight.  And I am pretty sure you are a big softy who reflects the Light of her King. Most of the time anyway. Love reading your blog. 

Shal said...

If it makes you feel better, I know who I see...and she is a wonderful, godly, honest woman who spends her days as the hands and feet of her Master. Praying for you today!!

Erin Pettijohn said...

Oh gosh- I'm so sorry to hear the sad news. What an insightful blog post... Thanks for reminding us the importance of our everyday interactions. My continued prayers are with the Galmi community.

Bobnrobn said...

Dear Cranky (from the heat or just because), I am sure they see JESUS between the 'cranks'.  Who among us is perfect - otherwise we (I) wouldn't need HIM.  You are doing a fine job!  Sorry to hear of the loss of one of the 'team.'  Praying for all of you.   xoxoxo

Deb. said...


Deb. said...

Thanks for praying for us! As hard of a loss as this has been for the hospital staff, I have found that it has provided some unique opportunities for 'bearing with one another' and providing support . . . between Nigeriens and ExPats. An example of 'God working all things together for the good of those who love Him.'

Praying for you as you start residency!

Deb. said...


Deb. said...

Thank you!