Tears are common around here, too common at times. There are tears of joy, tears of relief, tears of grief, tears of frustration, tears of sadness, tears of laughter, tears of disappointment and tears of pain. I see all of them in a short period of time.
This week, an older lady, with chronic lung disease, came in with her daughter in law. For the past year she has stayed with her son and his family to get medical care, as she is from the bush 4 hours away. They started crying as they shared this was the last time I would see her, as she wanted to go home to die. The daughter shedding tears because she doesn’t want her to go, the pt crying because she thinks she is going to die and that she won’t see me again. When I told them I didn’t think she was going to die anytime soon and that I would see her in heaven, she just hugged me and we embraced for a few seconds. Despite not speaking pidgin, she and I connected through our monthly visits, and she was so thankful for the care I had given her. This caused me to start to cry, as I hugged this dear lady, knowing that God had used me for some reason to bring hope and healing and His love to her for a period of time.
When I call for the next pt, a father and his daughter start walking to my room. As the daughter walks, it is obvious that something is wrong with her back. As I talk and examine her, I find a very pleasant 11yo girl, who has no pain just says she has something wrong with her back. Her back is disfigured in a way that makes her look somewhat like a hunchback. The xray confirms a fracture of one of her vertebrate and the subsequent rotation and misalignment of the rest of her spine and body. TB is the most likely culprit, and we don’t have any spine specialists around here, so our options are pretty limited. As I looked at the xray and discussed it with Bill, we agreed that we needed to try TB tx, even though we know it won’t correct her deformity. When I told them our plan, she started crying. They are from a remote area in the Upper Jimi, at least a days walk to us or longer, but that hasn’t stopped this little girl from having hopes and dreams. She broke my heart as she shared her hope that we would be able to fix her, to do surgery and make it all better. Her tears of disappointment brought the same to my eyes, knowing there are no other medical options for this girl here in PNG. We prayed asking for God’s will to be done and for a miracle to occur.
I was on call and got a call that a baby had stopped breathing on the pediatric ward. I got out of bed and made my way down to the ward and heard the wailing before I even opened the door to the ward. When I got to the baby, he sure enough had stopped breathing, which had happened many times already, but this time our efforts to bring him back did not work. The mom is shedding tears of grief, as her young child is no longer breathing, and many on the ward joined her as they realized there was nothing more for me to do.
Another night on call, and a truck pulls up and 3 men are carried out, blood all over them. The initial report is they were shot. One young man, is someone I know, and initially it looked like he had significant brain damage from the shot or whatever had happened. By God’s grace, by the end of the night he was talking to us and moving all his arms and legs. Tears of relief were shed by many when he came back to us.
Thankfully we have something to look forward to Rev 21:4 "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."