June 7th. When it comes to a third world country so much of the realities of our cushy, modernized States melt into a life of survival. While we fight over what brand of peanut butter to get in the US, people in other worlds are walking miles to the nearest city to get medications for their loved ones and waiting hours in lines without a thought for their own comforts. How easily wrapped up we get in things that truly don't matter. It reminds me of patients I have cared for who fought in war, return to the US, and struggle with re-integration. Today we treated children from on orphanage. We treated the elderly from a geriatric center. We treated "the Street kids" the bus picked up. We treated women who made a living selling themselves.Everything from spinal TB to a brain mass to schizophrenia to eye infections came through our clinic and recieved free care, medication, and when appropriate, referrals. The language- barrier is challenging. The condition the people are in is challenging. Sometimes you have to breathe through your mouth and remind yourself that scrubs do wash while performing a physical exam. Each person who came through the clinic, no matter what their status or background, shared a commonality. Each possessed a soul that is precious and that Jesus died to save. When one can begin to look at others through Jesus' eyes, one can begin to love more fully. That is the biggest lesson I want to take away. I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 13:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.