I was walking thru the hospital with my husband.
And other nurses and doctors.
I always hope my heart does not become hardened to their suffering.
The suffering of the sick.
Being a nurse, it is a temptation.
And living in India, it is possible.
But He is gracious.
He fills me with His Spirit fresh each morning.
I had passed many who were quite sick.
Malaria, even Cerebral Malaria, TB, Pneumonia, Skin infections, Malnourished.
But not many affected me like she did.
That one woman.
Crumbled at the end of the bed at the end of the row of the female ward.
Every piece of her was a bony prominence, at risk for skin breakdown.
Her hair so disheveled.
Eyes sunken and far far away in a place mine have not ventured.
She smelled and her family just sat and watched.
Barely any teeth.
When we spoke to her, indecipherable words came back off her lips.
As if it had been ages since she was spoken to.
‘Oh, Father’, I uttered a silent prayer.
He made this woman too.
My mind raged in anger at the woman smacking gum next to her.
As if she didnt know her relative was slowly dying, starving, and neglected.
Then, He reminded me, ‘she doesnt know Me’.
‘How could you expect her to know Love without Me?’
And then He filled me with Love for her too.
I asked when she last ate.
Relatives do not know.
My nursing student was caring for her this first night in the hospital.
We decided something should be done.
Oats should be made.
Nice, warm, nutritous oats.
With smashed bananas.
A dash of salt and sugar.
And delighted she would be.
So in the night we came and fed her.
Only 10 bites could her little body tolerate.
Ate more throughout the night.
We had to slowly lift her and prop her against the wall to feed.
Hold her up because she couldnt.
She doesn’t remember her age.
39? But she looks 89.
But He knows.
Even the hairs on her head are counted.
So I rested in that.
As I attempted a count of hairs, I failed.
But I did notice they (the hairs) were incredibly dirty.
Wash was needed.
If He washed my feet and my soul with His blood…
Shouldn’t I wash this woman’s hair?
Shouldn’t I use fragrant coconut shampoo I had waiting in our home?
And massage her little scalp?
He told me “go and do likewise”.
Best friend, Liz, reminded me of that and toasted me and husband.
With those words, “go and do likewise”
On our wedding day.
So wash I will do.
A treasured nursing student of mine commited to come with me.
We walked down the hill to the hospital.
Carried her outside.
Many women watching.
‘Oh, no. What will they think? Will they get angry and say I should wash theirs?”
Well, one did.
But her son calmed her and explained that this other woman had no one else.
That he was there for her.
So she quieted.
And all else just watched and commented on the fragile woman’s beauty.
Washed, combed, ponied up.
Oh it was lovely.
I felt as though my hair, body, feet, inners were washed as her hair was washed.
Is that not what he does every day?
Washes His bride with the Water of the Word.
I pray I can see through my little eyes those with unwashed hair.
I hope I can sacrifice my time and my comfort and my sensory stimuli.
For He did it for me.
And He now is in me, I am dead, He now reigns in.
So I hope she felt Him.
For it surely was not me.
Thank you for washing my feet and my soul, Abba.