Skip to main content


"How do we understand God in this?"

This was a question that really struck home with me over the past two weeks, as I was translating for our MMI trip to Puno/Juliaca.

How do we understand God in this, when a woman grabs your hand with tears in her eyes and says "Help me," when you have to tell a woman with no insurance that she may have cancer of the spleen, when a mother of two deaf/mute girls tells you that she will sell her organs so that they can have cochlear implants?

How do we understand God in this?

When a patient comes in with a fungal growth the size of a cabbage on his foot. He says he has been cleaning it with urine and that it's "getting better." The team manages to convince him that he needs to be hospitalized, it is a potential emergency, and that he could contract sepsis. But, when he finally agrees to go to the hospital they tell him that all his paperwork has been transferred to Arequipa, where the health care workers are on strike. So even though it is an emergency, he goes home and feels abandoned. A few days later he spends 300 soles on a local medicine man, who takes his money but does not cure him.

How do we understand God in this? When it just feels so heavy, and you see that heaviness all around.

It's in the lines on their faces.

It's the bare and cracked feet

It's the news from home, the sleepless nights, the cold showers, and the exhaustion.

"Call to me and I will tell you great and unsearchable things that you do not know."
God said that.

And maybe the answer is something like this:
-The Quechua speaking patient who puts her callused hands to your face and starts to sing in her high pitched voice, up and down.
-The welling up of love for someone that you have never met before. It hits you when they smile without teeth, when they bring oranges to the clinic, or when they just say, "Thank you."
-The inexplicable moment of hilarity when a patient is wearing a Snoopy Christmas sweater and it makes you laugh.

And if we are heavy, it is because we are bearing each others burdens. We are trying to do small things with great love. We are looking for the presence of God in the other. Sometimes, our questions are not met with answers but with presence. His presence and that spark that He left behind in every person.

"When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself.
Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer.
Don't ask questions:
Wait for Hope to appear." - The Lamentations of Jeremiah (The Message)

Our patients praying before clinic in the morning.


Popular posts from this blog

(Honest) Prayers of Intercession

in·ter·ces·sion /ˌin(t)ərˈseSHən/ noun
- the action of intervening on behalf of another

Last week, before flying out to California, I was awake in the middle of the night, feeling my baby move inside my growing belly bump and crying into a pillow. My friend Megan had just been told that the doctors thought her baby boy had cancer.

This precious boy has eyes that light up when he smiles at you. He is the epitome of an almost three year old; he is learning to share, he loves being in any kind of water, and would watch episodes of Dinosaur King on repeat for hours if you let him. Cancer. I can’t even process that word when it is attached to Lester, and now the diagnosis has been confirmed as Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

And so I pray, and in my prayers I invite other people to pray with me, but what those prayers look like might not be what you would expect.

What I think of as prayer has changed a lot over the past 7 years.

I used to think that prayer was saying or writing words to God, and…

Why I resemble Donald Trump’s taglines more than I would like to admit, and why that means that I will not be voting for him.

I’ve lived through a lot of change in the past year.
One year ago I moved to Massachusetts from California, nine months ago we got married, and in a little less than three months we are going to have a baby. Whew! Do you ever wish that you could press a pause button when you find yourself in the middle of a slow day and just take a break from the pace of life? I do, but this has not been that kind of year.

When I’m processing change, I usually get a little more introspective.
This is an example.

At the same time as I’ve had a year of change, full of highs and lows, we have had a year of crazy politicking and quite a few shenanigans.
And lets push the pause button here so that I can tell you- I do not consider this to be authoritative political commentary, it is a personal reflection. If you and I were having a face-to-face personal conversation about my feelings concerning the 2016 election, this is what I would hope to say to you.

It’s been very easy to sit back and look at all …

Keep Me Where the Light Is

It’s the Most Wonderful darkest time of the year over here in New England, and we have a new baby which means that when the sun goes down the dance of “will he or wont he sleep tonight?” begins.

The other day as I was walking in the evening (alone for a few precious moments!) the afterglow of the setting sun painted the sky behind dark tree branches with highlights of gold. The words from that John Mayer song filled my head “keep me where the light is” and I thought about how dark this time of year feels and how hard it is to stay in the moments of Light.

Having a new baby is amazing, but also completely disorienting. One moment you feel on the top of the world, like you have figured everything out, and the next moment you are wondering why babies don't come with owners manuals. He started smiling a few weeks ago, and now he smiles at us on purpose and makes cooing sounds when he is happy. I put him under the Christmas tree the other day and it felt like magic… for a moment. A f…