Almost 25 years ago I held a tiny new born in my arms.
I watched her play dress up and grow older.
I now watch as this same child, now a beautiful woman, comes home at the end of a day exhausted, tired, and often hungry because she hasn’t had time to eat, feet aching.
This child is now a nursing sister dressing up in COVID 19 protective equipment…
I came across this quote recently and it reminded me of this child of mine.
“Way back before you were born, God knew there was a need. So God picked your fertile heart and planted a caring seed. Then He waited and He watched. Knowing before too long, the desire in you to help others would continue to grow strong.” – Edwin C. Hofert
In two months’ time her Community Service year at one of our Government Hospitals will be coming to an end and as she prepares to send out her CV to various hospitals in South Africa, I can’t help but reflect on this year.
There are so many stories and experiences and tears and heartache and pain and joy and hope and desperation that she has shared with us over this year but there two memories that are embedded in my heart.
The first was something that she shared her first week of nursing and the second memory is something she shared yesterday.
She had been nursing for two days when I received a WhatsApp from her telling me about a young woman in her early twenties who had HIV and gastro, was in an isolation room and was dying. Sarah had gone into the room in the morning and had just known that this young woman would die that day.
She prayed and asked God that she could be there when this woman died…that she wouldn’t have to die alone.
I received a WhatsApp later in the morning saying “God answered my prayer”
She was in the room holding this woman’s hand, stroking her hair and praying with her when she took her last breath.
Yesterday evening as she was leaving after her shift she came across an old man with one leg who was lying on a stretcher in the theater corridor. She stopped beside him and asked him if he was okay and whether she could bring him a blanket. They started to talk and he told her that he was there to have the other leg amputated. When asked if there was anyone at home to look after him he confided that there was only his wife, who was suffering from severe depression, and it was going to be very difficult.
She said she felt so helpless and hopeless, nothing more she could do for him, so without words… so she asked him whether he was religious.
He said yes, he was a Catholic and she asked whether she could pray with him and he said yes – and so she prayed.
Way back before she was born God saw this young woman with HIV and gastro, this old man without a leg, waiting to lose his other leg and countless more people and he planted a seed in her heart that He knew would grow and grow and grow.
“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” Colossians 3:12