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"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.


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