Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hospital

Hard to say exactly what a trip to Africa does to the heart. A blade of understanding, thin and keen, slips into the chest. The autogenic movement of the cardiac organ is all the momentum it takes to sever the wide wilderness of all I think I know. A panic of blood separates itself from the usual routes, all but invisible to you...


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A hospital. Those who should not wait, tarry too long in coming. My camera intrudes like a knife. Makes permanent both hope and despair.
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Doctors and nurses smile and work hard, doing what they can with nothing and with God.
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Meals, laundry, these are the patient’s family’s responsibility. There are two nurses where there should be twenty. But there is palpable optimism. Is it those ever straight backs that make the difference? Backbone.
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Essentials: respect. Everyone is given respect. Prayer. Everyone wants prayer—even the Muslim man. I thought to mention only God by name in my prayer, I knowingly left the word Jesus out of it (even though Muslims call Jesus a prophet). I dodged around in my brain amidst the prayer trying to catch wind of the Holy Spirit, trying to be conscious of the authority given me, In Jesus name… I punctuate the prayer. It couldn’t be helped or stopped. Lord, what does this mean? To him? To me?
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We are not expected to wring our hands when we see want.
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Here they do what they can, dutiful stewards, diligent servants, in an imperfect world.
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They trust the Spirit for the lack. Give a cup of cool water...
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to the poorest of poor.
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Tis the only reason I don’t bleed to death from being there.
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Not perfect grace, grace perfected.
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3 comments:

Pig Woman said...

Whoa. Your words and photos make us bleed too, and soften our hardened hearts. I think I need to pray for a larger audience for my seesta. Ya, that's what we need here-- an exponential expanding of the audience to move into action.

Craig and Bethany said...

What a gift. Where in the world is this grace perfected? Wouldn't we trade every treasure for such impossible dignity? Even the bright colors SHOUT His name. In the end I'm holding my breath trying desperately to see, in the folded hands, the turbulent scarves, discarded flip-flops and bare feet, smudgy tides of dirt and reflections on floors, crumpled covers and smooth foreheads, see what THEY see. I stare and enlarge the pictures. Is it there? Or here... or dusting across that forearm there. I'm scared I'll miss it.

Olson Family said...

Anthologies of grace straining to see down a corridor, prone atop strewn sheets, awaiting an intercessor. Echoes of grace perfected.

Lord, to know You by that Grace... in Jesus' Name...