09 November 2011

Okay, I Live

I've been away for a few weeks.  I took some of my vacation time and got away from here to rest.  It was good to be somewhere else for awhile . . . it gave me time to process and grieve and wrestle with some of the realities of my new life in Niger and rest.

But I'm back now.  Back in Galmi.  Back to work.  Back in the deep-end.

And the nature of my jobs brings me face to face with the full spectrum of the pendulum . . . death and life at the same time . . . sometimes with the very same patient.

For example, today while I was treating a burn patient I found myself longing for the promise of Heaven, where there will be no more pain or suffering or death.  I'm not sure I will ever be able to wrap my head around the suffering we face here on earth.  But as I scrubbed eschar from his legs my heart sang: 
'And there will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears . . . .'  
Then later, with this same man, I found myself full of joy as he stood on his feet for the first time in a week.  He was in agony, but he was persevering.  I cheered him on as he lifted each foot to march in place, his efforts demonstrating the hope of the healing process.

But as I helped him position himself in bed, he began to tell me of the experience of his injury.
'The fire is coming for me.  It coming for me.  It everywhere, the fire.  I call "Oh my God! Oh my God!" and I tell Him "Let me die.  Let me die."  I want to die.  The washing hurt very bad.  Please, no washing tomorrow.  It hurt very bad.'
My heart ached for this man . . . knowing full well it paled in comparison to the agony he is experiencing.  How could I wish for him to live when each day will be filled with incomprehensible pain?  I couldn't make sense of it . . . yet I found myself speaking to him without thinking:
'But you did not die.  God gave you life.  He wants you to live.  And I work for God, so it is my job to help you live.  If you want to live, I will help you.'
 'Okay,' he said, 'I live.'


Mary Ann McGeoch said...

Thank you Deborah for what you do !

Amanda at Home said...

Beautiful, just beautiful.

Ellen Jeffer said...

God brought you there for moments such as that one and many more to come. He will strengthen and help you as you submit to His will for your life. Thanks for sharing . It helps us know how to pray for you.

Linda said...

Oh, bless you! I'm so thankful you could get away and refresh and regroup. I can't imagine what your work must be like, but I know you're definitely doing God's work and giving help in practical ways to so many of His dear children, and offering them hope, love, and encouragement. I stand in awe. You are on the cutting edge of what it is to live by faith and serve with everything within you.

The Lord bless you and keep you,

S. said...

This week I found myself in tears when hearing of some unspeakable things that one human did to another. But I am so far removed, unlike how you have to see, touch, hear, and smell (you know what I mean!) pain and suffering every day. I'm praying for you and I'm so glad you had some time to refresh! Enjoy your Mom's encouragement, which I think is pretty much the best! And there is always Romans 8. Sending love and prayers!

Megan S said...

Speechless Debs.

Deb. said...

Thanks for your encouragement, Ellen.

Deb. said...

Yeah, a break was necessary . . . I wouldn't have made it any longer without one. Thanks, Linda, for your encouragement!

Deb. said...

Thanks for praying!! We need it!!

Kari said...

"I work for God" - love it!!! :)