The Risk of Love

I never wanted to be a nurse.  And I never wanted to go to Haiti. 
Then, through a funny little turn of events, I ended up on a two week church-rebuilding project in – you guessed it – Haiti. 
I ended up falling in love with Haiti.  The people, the country, the beauty that was so unexpected, the food.  I wasn’t ready to leave when our time was up, and couldn’t wait to come back.
Through another chain of events, I ended up going to nursing school in preparation of coming down to work as a nurse here at the clinic a little less than four years after that first visit. 
Nothing, however, prepared me for what it is actually like to serve as a nurse/mother/midwife/counselor/pharmacist/doctor/sister here. 
Some days?  It hurts.
Like, physical ACHING.  When you hear how the friend/patient that you’ve spent months working with and just hiked over the mountain to visit passed away, the fact that you’ve known for months that there was nothing you could do to make him well does nothing to help dull the pain.  We went to his funeral, and when we walked into the room where his widow was, she started wailing.
“Mis Kindra.  Mis Kindra.  I lost him.  I lost him.  You went through all that misery with him for nothing.  We lost him.  He’s not here.”
My tears mixed with hers as I wrapped my arms around her.  I found their ten year old daughter up on the hill with tears streaming down her face, her uncle beside her.  The five year old sat on her grandpa’s lap, looking slightly confused about everything. 
He was only thirty-eight.  Owned a beautiful little house in a really pretty little area of a lovely country.  Had a good wife and two perfect little girls.  Three brothers and two sisters.  Was Fre Jack’s son-in-law, bless his heart. 
Amontil was my friend.  He stayed at his sister-in-law’s place for a while during part of his illness, and I’d often drop by to see how he was doing.  He was often in pain, but was always so patient and sweet.  That last time we visited him, he told us that some people say that he was becoming discouraged, but that it’s not true.  He looked me in the eye and told me that he was going to leave his girls when they were young. 
He passed away the next evening. 
See, we’re not just here to make diagnoses and hand out medicine, though that it is a large part of our job.  We’re here to be an extension of Christ to those who need him.  To be the hands and feet of the One who created ours.  To serve. 
Even when our feet hurt, and we don’t feel like getting our hands dirty.  Even when our own hearts are breaking as we try to deal with our own problems in our own lives, and it feels like if we try to feel another’s pain it will most likely end up being the straw that broke the camel’s back.  But God didn’t place us here as his representatives only when we feel like being so. 
Our lives don’t revolve around our feelings, and neither should our actions and reactions.  Jesus wept for his friends, so why should we think that we shouldn’t have to face that pain?
Besides, when you do find yourself willing to embrace the hurting people around you, you get to share in not only their heartaches, but their joys and happiness as well.  You become, in some small way, a part of their lives, and they a part of yours.  That willingness may lead to pain and/or rejection, but it’s worth the risk when you can shine some light into an otherwise dark corner, or feel yourself make a connection across the barriers of culture and languages.
I remember reading a story called The Perfect Heart many years ago, and it’s stuck with me all these years, so I thought I’d give y’all the link to a copy of it that I found here.  It’s worth the click and the read.
Life here has been slowing down a tiny bit as we get into December.  In the month of November, we saw over 1,900 patients, and they kept us hopping.  But we’re hoping that we’ll continue to slow down as we near our Christmas vacation (which is starting next Wednesday!!! *happy dance*).  
A few random shots from the last month…the fellow on the bottom right,
by the way, is grinning for a picture that I was supposed to be
 sending my mom, his “mother-in-law”. 😉
Anyway, hope y’all had a blessed Monday, and that you have a wonderful remainder of the week. 
Keep the faith, and hold your light high as you shine in your corner of the world. 
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