I stand in the ER waiting and watching as they stitch up a man's nasty head wound, Jabez in my arms.
Turning, I notice the patients and family members seated around me. They’re watching me. Per usual. I can see the questions in their eyes. They wonder what I’m doing here. Like this.
And how could I blame them? I’m not exactly the typical sight.
I take a look at myself. Wearing one of their sarongs, cheap flip-flops, one of their bags, one of their slings, and one of their babies. And think of what it must look like. Items that I own from the States are precious and few, if not nearly nonexistent.
I wonder how I could even explain it to them.
I could tell them I love it here. I could tell them I love their way of life. I could tell them I know this as home. I could tell them I love them.
But still they wouldn’t understand. They think of America as glamour. As a dream. Why would I choose to be here? With them? To learn their language? To know their pain and their way of life? To embrace the simplicity of their lifestyle?
Why would I leave all of that for this?
And the comparison strikes me.
[Now please don’t get me wrong, I am completely aware that I, don’t in any way, even compare. And I actually, quite honestly, do not consider, for me, being here to be a sacrifice. . . But I needed this thought.]
Jesus. Here on this earth, a dark earth. For us.
And how I don’t understand.
He made the utter most of His time here. He found joy in the journey. This was His earthly home. He gave everything – His all – for us. He loved us.
And then I understand just a bit. How He loves us. By how I love them.
If my earthly heart, in all its faltering, can feel so much, then how much more His?
And I am inspired. To fall into His footsteps, to follow further. . . Give more.
I’m reminded again of how strongly I believe in integration, the pattern He left for us. And think of how He chose to become like us.
I think of how He sat with the people. How He taught them. Investing His time and His heart. Listening to them. Healing them. Praying for them. . . .
And gazing in the mirror of His example. . .I realize how much I don’t. . .there is far to go.
“Love, mercy, and compassion were displayed in every act of Jesus ministry. In describing His earthly mission, Jesus said, The Lord ‘hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.’ (Luke 4:18). . . There were whole villages where there was not a moan of sickness in any house, for He had passed through them and healed their sick. His work gave evidence of His divine anointing. Love, mercy, and compassion were revealed in every act of His life. . . He took man’s nature, that He might reach man’s wants. The poorest and humblest were not afraid to approach Him. Even little children were attracted to Him. They loved to climb upon His knees and gaze into the pensive face, benignant with love. . .He did not censure human weakness. . .His life was one of self-denial and thoughtful care of others. . .”