So many times in the past two weeks I found myself in tears for God’s people here in Piura. The men at the prison, the women waiting in line at the medical clinics, and even the staff and people I see every day at mass.
Life here is hard. There is nothing about it that’s easy. Nothing is comfortable or convenient. Yesterday, I saw many elderly come to the clinic with aches and pains. Well, you might just say that’s a part of growing old. However, when you call out a name and are looking for the 57 year old man, you are often surprised to see he looks more like 77 than 57.
Then perspective hits you. A life of walking in the sand in flip flops, not nice Birkenstocks! No. A life of sleeping on the floor or maybe a thin foam mattress if lucky. No lazy boy recliners here, only plastic chairs and buckets for comfort from standing.
Geez, I too would be sore, achy, and walking with a limp. Of course there are so many needs and for most all they received was 10 days or more of Tylenol or Ibuprofen. So you might be wondering what’s the point, as that prescription is not going to cure them. So maybe it’s not about a cure at all, but care. Something I think we often miss in the west.
As many sat in the waiting room and then in front of a doctor and interpreter they were seen. Someone in this great big world had noticed them and they were gently listened to with care and the eyes of Christ. So for those 10, 15, 20, 30 minuets the ray of love shone upon them and I imagine it wasn’t really about the pills at all in reality. They’re poor, not fools.
One women came in and although looked very relaxed had a blood pressure so high she should of been stroking out that very moment. We in the states would consider that an emergency, and yet here it’s a way of life. A visit to the emergency room is just not feasible.
She was a beautiful women, totally faith-filled, and precious to the Father. As, I prayed with her I knew her heart was full of sadness. As soon as I touched her she began to cry. After she shares that she was in an abusive marriage. The left the man and took her two kids. Of all things, her daughter is a wealthy doctor living in Lima who she no longer sees. That’s enough stress to spike anyone’s blood pressure. Please pray for reconciliation of this family.
Just as we were about to leave, a staff member of the parish shoes up late and now locked out of the clinic in her own village. She arrived late due to work with her two kids, and even though they all appeared healthy it broke my heart to see they missed out. The mom is strong as many women here are, but the two kids had tears in there eyes of missing out on a chance to see a doctor. Or was it having the doctor see them. Probably both.
And so I wondered why I was so tired today and then it hit me as my heart was so heavy and lamenting for so many who have to fight for basic necessities. Many times I had tears in my eyes and it was not for any one thing, just the sight I saw. I wondered when Jesus when the out to the desert to pray if He too cried out for the people he saw who were poor, broken, hurting, alone, imprisoned.
Literally 10 days of Tylenol is nothing to us back home. My guess is that most of us always have a bottle of Tylenol or Ibuprofen in our medicine cabinets at all times for a headache or basic ache or pain. How easy it is to forget once we go back to the comfort of our lives what we leave behind and even have to ability to escape. The reality of just how hard life is for those in poverty. And so it is
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3).
Where in your own life must you become “poor in spirit” so you rely more on the dependence of God and His grace? Where must you stand empty handed before Him in your life?