how do I put into words what I saw yesterday? how do I type the emotional drain? how do I relay the numb feeling I had inside as the powerful wave of shock swept over me? how do I paint a picture of malnutrition, blood on the floor, molding ceilings, a child crying from a boda accident where the skin on his chin was scraped off & he is suffering from a bad concussion?
I should have feel sick when I walked into the pediatric ward. the smell should have knocked me over or sent me reeling outside. but it didn’t. instead, i became numb. i looked but barely felt. is this my body’s way of self-protection? is this my mind’s way of not becoming so overwhelmed or so attached that I go mad?
but I cannot tune out the crying boy from the boda accident. I go over to the man holding him as the nurse, in slow motion, prepares the medicine & shots. I look into the boy’s eyes, screaming out pain. I feel so helpless. the man looks at me like I can help. but all I can do is scratch the boy’s back, hoping this is a universal sign of compassion. hoping that I am bridging the cultural ravine showing that I care. that I am sorry he must wait. I am sorry this pain is so real. I am sorry I cannot relieve it. I am sorry that I can’t even verbally communicate this.
I walked away from the clinic feeling so inadequate. helpless. useless. how can I help these people? I am not in school studying nutrition, medicine, or physical therapy. I do not even understand all the effects of aids & HIV & malnutrition. all I know how to do is write & maybe snap 1 or 2 good pictures. how is that going to bring relief? how is that going to save lives?
& are we really even doing that? we may be helping their physical needs, but only Christ can save them. only He can take away the true pain. only He can answer the deep, inner cry for help, the cry for hope, the cry for a chance to live.
Lord, You have brought me here, but all I am doing is teaching a 2 year old how to count & sing the abc’s. how is that helping the poor? how can my writing, my processing, save? oh, Abba, your daughter is crying out for Your other children, Your little ones! do they get a chance? the baby that died the other night, is he with you? Abba, I do not understand. I see this pain, but I am not even able to comprehend a small portion of it. why so much suffering? how do we bring relief? how do we share Your love on an intimate level? how can I maximize this 3 months?
open my eyes. show me Your ways. fill my heart with compassion for your people. break my heart for what breaks Yours. refine me. teach me. mold me. use me. Lord, take over my heart, my mind, my will to do YOUR will!
& when I cry STOP! don’t.
Psalm 94:19 “When the cares of my heart are many, Your consolations cheer my soul.”
Psalm 55:22 “Cast your burden on the LORD, & He will sustain you.”