My girl took a hard fall the other day, physically and emotionally. Her ministry, her field, has literally been in the field out behind our house. She's been trying to make friends with all of the children in this area, playing with them, making up games, and also trying to show them kindness and compassion when someone is hurt. The cultural attitude is the opposite. Kids and adults alike will laugh, mock, and even pick on someone who is hurt, or someone who is sad. I've seen crowds of people just stare at someone who has had a bad accident, and moments later mock them. It's not something I've been able to understand yet, other than it must be some kind of defense mechanism, where to survive you have to be tough and hard, not soft and kind. So, when someone is down, the rest just pile on the hurt, adding insult to injury by pointing or laughing. Inside I think every onlooker is hoping it will never be them on the receiving end. I think everyone knows what's right inside, but it's much easier to destroy and knock down than it is to lift up and encourage.
The very day she wrote on her blog about playing with the kids in the village, she became the victim of this twisted sense of humor. As they were all jumping rope, Abby's turn came and she went to hop in. They waited until just the right moment and then pulled the rope tight, making her fall, and fall hard. She scraped up her arm and knees, and most certainly took a blow emotionally as they began to mock her while she cried. This was her reward for her labors? Oberline saw it happen and became very angry. I think she would have knocked them on their rears ends.
A hard and yet precious lesson was just breaking in.
I thought her arm was just bruised and sprained, and I knew the emotional end was only making it worse, so we iced it and wrapped it, but overnight and through the next day her arm began to swell and didn't get better.
This morning she still couldn't twist her arm, so we finally made the trip to the city at her mother's persistence.
Momma's Intuition was right this time. Abby had fractured both her Ulna and her Radius bones.
When we got to the hospital, a missionary nurse that I know named Beth helped Kari to get Abby through the system, from x-ray to cast, without hardly sitting down. That's an amazing feat in this country, where you might sit and wait for hours before you can even get a number to be seen, and it could be most of the day before you're finished. Beth shined the light of Christ by serving and helping us so selflessly and lovingly. She was there waiting when we arrived.
We'd just read in our morning devotions about how God shed's His light on us. (Psalm 97:11) We can't make that light. It doesn't come from us. It's only given to us, and just like nobody lights a kerosene lantern at night only to put it under a bowl, we don't tuck away and hide the light of Christ either. It's not meant to keep to ourselves. It's meant to reflect, to give, to warm, to light up the night. Miss Beth became our living example today.
My friend Patchouko said something yesterday that fit well, as we watched another Christian at work.
"You know, a true Christian doesn't need to bother with trying to convince people they are good. They don't need to tell people that they go to church. They don't need to say anything. People can just see it on their face. They feel love, and they know already, and say, "Ahhhh, that is a Christian.'"
Oberline was along also and got to watch Beth in action, got to see an x-ray and bones for the first time, and listened intently to Kari as she commented that it was Christians who started the first hospitals, out of love and compassion for the people they were called to serve. The wheels are turning for this young lady.
Abby has 4 weeks and a beautiful red, modern cast that gets her out of dishes for awhile. She's still smiling, and I know she will use this to glorify God. I don't doubt it for a second that people might look at this child and forget altogether that she's even in a cast. Her light is too bright, and her joy is as unbridled as her horse. She's all wrapped up in Jesus, and she just can't help but share Him.