Sunday, December 30, 2007

My two angels

My two angels…

So this is a short post to let you know about an extraordinary experience I had yesterday.

I was headed to Konate’s house to see a Tabaski celebration. Tabaski is the Muslim holiday in remembrance of the prophet Abraham. For the celebration each family kills a sheep and eats all day! Each family prepares a meal and then people travel from house to house eating and socializing. The sheep is a reminder of the story of Abraham being called by God to sacrifice his son and God instead providing a sheep to sacrifice instead. The interesting part is that the Muslims believe it was Ishmael not Isaac, who was spared. To the Muslims Isaac isn’t even in the picture.

Anyway, that is not the point of my story. I was supposed to meet up with Konate outside the Pediatric Hospital at the end of Charles de Gaulle. Since was a bit far and I didn’t want to deal with my bike I decided to take a taxi. I hadn’t been waiting at the roadside for more than 10 seconds when a women on a moto stops. She tells me, exactly what I had been dreading… that since it is a holiday there are very few taxis out and about. So she asks me where I am headed and I tell her. The next thing I know she tells me to hop on and off we go zipping down the road. It was amazing. She dropped me off and I was just so blown away by her kindness! I asked her if I could pay her anything and of course she refused. Instead she gave me her phone number and gave her mine. It turns out she is a nurse in the neonatal unit of the St. Camille hospital just down the road. She invited me to come visit her at work, which I definitely plan to do! It was really an awesome God moment. This woman was so amazing and she even complimented me on my French. She thought I was French and couldn’t believe I was American. Anyway, that did it for me, you compliment me on my French and you are an instant friend in my book :)

So the other angel I encountered yesterday was again on my way to Konate’s house. Waiting for him by the pediatric hospital there was a young girl with a kind of fabric wrapped around her head. At first glance I was totally stunned, but turned my gaze quickly not to make her feel awkward. The girl’s face was pretty much non-existent. She had to have been severely burned at some point. She had no nose, lips, or eyelids at all. From a glace I stole at her wrists I noticed one very disfigured hand and burn scars on her wrists. I don’t remember being so overwhelmed before. All I wanted to do was go over and give her a hug. She kept dabbing her eyes. Without eyelids I am sure she has issues with her eyes watering to keep her vision clear. Even more so thought the constant dabbing it was hard not to picture her crying. Also, at one point there was a group of young boys that walked past and from my point of view, which was at this point behind the girl, I could see them staring. I saw the girl pull her fabric in front of her face. I wanted so much to yell at those boys. To tell them to get away, that this girl not a circus act here for your amusement. She was not begging. She just sat there, picking at the ground and dabbing her eyes. She would get up and walk around, but my heart was literally aching. Does she have a family? Does some one feed her? Does she know that even though she doesn’t have a face, she is loved by the creator of the universe? Ahh, I just couldn’t do anything. She finally looked at me long enough for me to smile at her and say “Bonsoir” or good afternoon! When Konate finally came, I felt like something was telling me to stay there, but I couldn’t. I left, and now I can’t stop thinking about that girl. I will pray that God will give me the wisdom to know if there is something I can do for her. It was just incredible though. So that is the story of the two angels I saw yesterday, one giving of herself to help me see God’s hand in even the smallest of everyday events and one needing so much as to open my eyes to a whole different means of suffering and to make me really think about how I should live to help the “least of these”…

Such are the ways of the Almighty,