I have only been home less than a month from Kenya, the stench of poverty and injustice fresh in my mind.
Yet how soon I forget when suddenly faced with an inconvenience, uncomfortable situation, loss of control and interruption.
How dare they tell me I must be hospitalized with no end date in mind! What about me?
What about my plans?
I hate the food!
I am the only woman on the Ward!
The complaining comes so easy and in a steady stream.
Yet when the pain increases and the needles get longer and the meds make me weird……then I cry out to God. I HAVE LOST CONTROL!
Suffering has a way of taking you by the hand and slowly leading you to God. Sometimes dragging you.
In this lonely place with Abba He shows His goodness….how?
A whiteboard on the wall where the faithful and Compassionate nurses write their names as they greet you each shift change. I have my own nurse every 8–12 hours.
A yellow caution sign on my floor, left by the cleaning person who has come twice in a day. Spotless new room.
My room number. My own private room with central air, private bathroom, reclining chair, flat screen remote control TV, private phone and well lit.
And to top it all off —-ITS ALL FREE FOR ME ALL Of THE TIME.
In Kenya, it was a 16,000 bed hospital with a severe shortage of staff. Dirty floors stained with blood, feces, skin and red dirt. Smells that choke you. Bodies lying on cots, something with a heartbeat, some not.
People so sick with diseases that haas no name; bomb victims with fresh raw exposed wounds; kids with no parents and no where to go; overworked nurses who earn less than $100 a month; 8 or more beds to a room; sometimes two people squeezed in one bed.
God gave me grace to overcome what I saw and smelled so I could embrace and love. I wanted to be there. These are my people, my family I thought…the family my ancestors were stolen from. Why so much suffering?
Yet….their spirits were filled with expectation. Eyes of hope. Smiles in midst of pain. Open to hug and welcome me.
Beautiful ugly I said within.
They are beautiful and I am ugly…within.
Now I know cause how quickly I forgot when illness knocked at my door,
Too much comfort all of the time.
Forgive me Lord! Forgive us (USA)!