If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink
Sometimes working in West Africa can be frustrating and seem a bit hopeless. You feel small next to massive problems. You can be frustrated by people constantly asking you to give them something. You can be saddened by those who have no desire to work.
The problems here are so complex. Women and children are oppressed and abused. Rape legal until last year. An entire generation was uneducated. Mentally, many have be traumatized from the war. There is so much to think about.
But love is very simple. It asks no questions and it demands no answers. It gives of itself because that is the only thing it knows to do.
The Bible commands us to love even our enemies. Therefore, can we not look past politics and frustrations and love those who are not our enemies but are simply impoverished? Should we not give them bread to eat and water to drink, if we should be doing that for our enemies?
Mary is a 15 year old patient on the ward. She is hear alone. Her jaw was locked shut and we performed surgery that will allow her to open her mouth.
Mary has the sweetest spirit. She is gentle and shy. When the other girls talk she sits on the perimeter, wanting to be apart of the group but clearly expressing through her body language that she feels like an outsider. But out wards are filled with the worlds outcast's.
Tonight, after saying goodnight to the other members of the hope ward girls club, I made Mary's bed my last stop. I sat next to her, rubbed her back, and held her hand. She told me about her family and where she lived. I told her that she had a beautiful smile and was a very sweet girl. I told her how special she was to God and how much He loved her.
She soon threw her arms around me in a full out bear hug, and buried her head into my shoulders.
Mary is an outsider. I don't know how often she hears that she is special and loved. I don't know how often she is hugged.
It is so humbling to be able to love Mary. To be the physical hands that bring hope and healing. Politics, problems, ambitions, convictions, attitudes, being right- none of that mattered at that moment.
I was able to simply love Mary and it was my privilege.