Saturday, April 9, 2011

How do I wrap my mind around all the suffering and poverty?

Am writing this post on Saturday. Therefore, I am not working at the hospital. Today could be like any Saturday at home in Lexington. I went for a walk in the cool of the was a delightful 91 degrees F. While I walked, instead of being with Ruth and the doggies, I was alone. I walked the inside perimeter of the hospital walls. Along the way, instead of greeting neighbors I stopped to greet the security guards posted at the front and back of the grounds. I stopped to say bonjour to the patients and caregivers at the maison du passage (a hostel for outpatients that live far away) These dear ones were sitting on their woven mats in the shade, nursing babies, fixing tea with tiny charcoal set-ups and tiny colorful teapots. One of the babies remembered me from the hospital and began to wail so I made a hasty retreat. So much for playing with the babies today. I noticed a patient who had a burn scar revision...a young man whose disfigurement will probably hinder him from studies and employment. His only clothes were a set of filthy ones on his back. He was asked to take a shower yesterday by the staff. I wondered what good will that do with nothing fresh to put on? We will put that on our list of things for this week. Okay...I continued my walk around and around thinking about Joshua leading the Israelites around Jericho. The difference here is that I wasn't asking God to break down physical walls but:
To break down barriers of communication (Lord, please help me to speak French with greater fluidity)
To break down racial barriers(help me to pour Jesus' love onto receptive hearts)
To break down cultural barriers
To break down ignorance and barriers to learning (to care for their children's casts and dressing)
To break down spiritual barriers that hinder hearts and ears from hearing and receiving the Good News of Jesus Christ
Oh, boy there is much to pray about! The battle is great but we know who wins!
The cross of Christ, His life, death and resurrection are proof that God loves and has a plan to deal with these issues.
So how do I, or can I wrap my mind around these issues, obstacles and problems that I see here?
These verses have helped me, this is not a pat answer and yes, these things move me to tears, frustration and anger at various times. But...and buts are very important where God's word is concerned...
I will sing praises to You, LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all the wonderful things You have done.
I will sing with joy because of You.
I will sing praise to You, Almighty God...
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
A place of safety in times of trouble.
Those who know You, LORD, will trust You;
You do not abandon anyone who comes to You...
God remembers those who suffer;
He does not forget their cry,
And He punishes those who wrong them.
Psalm 9:1,2,9,10,12
I believe these promises with all my heart. That is how I can obey this calling to serve in poor, oppressed and difficult places. God cares....God notices...God is at work. At CURE we are going with God, having the privilege of a small part in fulfilling these promises. Thank you, LORD!

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