Sometimes passages from the Bible just come alive for me. I mean it's like I get transported back in time, and it is just like I am there. I can feel the emotions, my feet can feel the gravel pushing into the bottom of my soles, I can smell the odors, I am just there.
This past Sunday Ben and I went to visit some of our friends who are sick and in need of our help. We visited Jane, and a certain scene from the Gospels leapt to my heart.
Jesus was going somewhere, cannot remember off the top of my head, and he had the chance to look over the city of Jerusalem. He wept because of the suffering that was going on.
I wept because of the suffering of Jane. A 21 year old woman who is HIV positive and bedridden. She is unable to control her bladder, and so has wet herself and her bed. Neither Ben nor I pointed this out to her of course. Certainly she was aware of it and embarrassed.
We did complain bitterly to her mother, who stays nearby but cares nothing for her daughter. In fact it was Jane's mother who forced her into prostitution and so her mother caused her to contract HIV. Now she does not feed her, bathe her, make sure she gets to the clinic, or otherwise care for her daughter.
I completely understood Jesus' anguish at the sight of Jerusalem. We are now caring for Jane, and if it were not for her very complicated family situation I would have brought her home with us. Since that is not possible right now we have volunteers going each and every day to cook, bathe, and love Jane.
I assured her that we would not abandon her. Her doctor has already given up on her. He called us to tell us not to buy some expensive (at least in our Kenyan context) medication. He told us to use our money on someone else. Well we told him that Jane was worth it to us, even if she dies the day after taking the medication and all our money is wasted.
Again I understood Jesus' tears.
I told Jane that she would come out of her bed. In fact I was trying to be funny and flirtatious at the same time, when I told her that I could not take her out on a date, seeing as to how I was married, but I would take her to the best restaurant in town as soon as she was able to walk again just as a friend. She could tell by looking at me that I knew all the best places to eat. We laughed.
It was good to hear a laugh instead of tears.
Father I pray that you touch Jane and enable her to come from that bed. This prayer is a bit selfish, as I am not sure I can handle her funeral. I am tired of weeping for Jane, let us laugh more and celebrate life.
Missionary to Nakuru, Kenya. Co-founder of A Future and a Hope, a home for girls.