A few weeks ago, my sister-in-law said I was sentimental. I hadn’t thought much about it… until two days ago.
I was standing alone, looking at a bed.
This bed I bought in 2000 from a missionary who was leaving the country. I was looking for cheap furniture to set up our house when we first moved here. I think I paid $150 dollars for thisbed. Narra wood they told me. It was a perfect single bed for our son, Noah.
He slept on that bed when he was little. And our other kids slept on it too, those first few years.
As furniture moves around as it sometimes does, other children used that bed. It always came in very handy.
Somehow that bed ended up in the sick room at Gentle Hands.
And I remember how a man with third degree burns suffered on that bed. Ever so slowly, he healed. How many hours did I spend changing his bandages, reading the bible to him, and praying for him. Sitting beside him on that bed.
I remember a woman with mental illness slept on that bed. She was a broken soul. I sat rubbing her hands endlessly and praying for peace to come to her mind.
A young man died on this bed. I think back to the hours I sat rubbing his back and feet trying to give him comfort. I held his hands when he died on that bed.
And another man. We carried him in on a stretcher and he tossed and turned and called out to God for hours on that bed. And God healed him and I see him every week in Malabon. A miracle that he lives.
There were many others. I seldom take time to remember because each memory is so real… so full… and so charged with emotion. I have little time to reflect. But for a moment I stood very still, thankful for this quiet.
Lola spent the last year and some sleeping on that bed. And we have all taken turns sitting beside her on the bed. Children of all ages. The older girls curled up beside her as she would sleep. The little ones leaning up against the bed, talking to the lola we called ours. And now lola has gone home to her family in the province. She will live her last days out with the children she labored to give life to. How many hours had I listened to her tell stories to me as I sat beside her on the bed.
Which is why I was standing there looking at the bed.
It’s just a bed. But a beautiful bed. For so many reasons.
I decide right then that somehow I would make it a project. It would look so lovely with a little sanding and a new finish. Maybe i was sentimental.
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Today, it is raining and flooding and I have been praying and worrying about two patients in Malabon… flood waters waist deep already and the day has just begun.
The text comes from the community and I send two guys to go pick up the one patient. He is fevering, weak, and very sick. I don’t want him to die.
We talk about where to put him and decide to make a space in the garage. But there is no extra bed. It takes me few minutes and I think… I tell my staff to take the bed… that is upstairs… the old brown bed…my project.
I go down to see the new patient… he is snuggled up with a blanket and pillow. His face all smiles. He’s probably never slept on a bed his whole life. The floor in his house is dirt.
Somehow, the bed never looked so lovely and I realize I don’t need to refinish it or hide it away… my project is right before me. I am thankful for the moment of reflection but even more thankful for this moment to refocus and remember what is truly important.
To be a light in the dark… to bring healing to the broken…
To be the hands and feet of Jesus to this man who has lost all hope.