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.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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.

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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.

2 replies
  1. Pete Ahlstrom
    Pete Ahlstrom says:

    Dear Charity,
    We have only begun receiving your blogs, but have been very moved, especially by “no answers,” and this one too. It’s evident you’re carrying a very heavy load – and that you care a great deal.

    We don’t have the finances – at least not now – to help that way. But our family prays together, and we will pray for you, that God will give you the strength and wisdom to carry the load he’s given you.

    For now, blessings, prayers, and love, from Pete, Yvonne, Yvette, and Bill.

  2. Freda Guppy
    Freda Guppy says:

    Hi Charity, Dennis and Denie! What a wonderful surprise on opening up into this website while ‘looking’ to see where a young special girl to me has been spending the last 9 + days on a short term missions trip with a youth group from Living Springs F/s here in Airdrie, AB, Cda. If my memory is serving me well, believe we all attended Victory Life F/S (P. Len & Ingrid Zoeteman) back in the 80’s with your leaving to go to the Philipines where Denie you hoped back then to use your midwifery training to minister to the needy women, and remember as word got out about your ministry, desperate mother’s brought their babies plus others were abandoned, etc. Have wondered over the years how you all were doing. Remember one of my last contacts with you all, received a lovely photo of the family taken possibly before Christmas one year. The following year, believe your eldest son at that time going to return to Cda to finish off schooling: grad/college/uni (?) Again, re: foggy memory, believe had to discontinue $ support due to going on a trip with YWAM in the 80’s and once back my employment options took a ‘nose dive’ with my only being able to find p/t work so unable to $ly continue to support ministries used to. Again, it is lovely to learn Charity is still with you both in ministry in the Philipines and to find you all again after all these years! God Bless, sincerely, Freda Guppy

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