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.'