Back when I lived outside of the windy city and had to be at work for my 11PM-7AM shift, I would leave for work at 9:45 PM. That was my door to door travel time. After I got off in the mornings, my commute would often jump to an hour and forty five minutes. During those commutes, I would find myself chatting on the phone, talking to Jesus, and/or listening to Roger Basick on Moody Bible Institute. And while the commute to work was often a smooth 70 mile an hour journey.... the journey home was often quite the opposite. Often exhausted from a night of medicating, bathing, and ensuring the care of my patients, I was often greeted by bumper to bumper traffic. There was such a sweetness when I pulled into my driveway and pushed the button to open my garage door. I knew at that moment that sleep was imminent. And now years later.... my commute to work is quite different. This last week, I came home for lunch and found myself walking through a herd of cows. There is a momma sheep with her twin lambkins (yep, looked that one up.... baby lambs are called lambkins...) and instead of worrying about bumper to bumper traffic delaying a timely arrival to work one has to account for ensuring you leave enough time in your commute to properly greet each person that you pass on the way. And it's good. And it's sweet. And I love it.
The other day, I was walking back from work with two of my coworkers. Aunt Sarah asked me a serious question. She wanted to know if I was using different smear (cream). I said no and asked her why. She said, your skin is becoming more white. I smiled. And so today, I did the unacceptable. I applied some sun tanning oil to my skin and walked with my arms up in the sky. Personally, when I look at my arms I see an amazing tan.... but I also realize that there have been times where I have been in denial when it comes to my perception of just how tan (or not) my skin is. And God had a sense of humor. After applying my awesome Banana Boat #8 Sun Tanning Oil (Thank you Cherie Martin!) I headed into town. Minutes later.... a massive rainstorm hit. The sun that had been shining so brightly was now hiding behind some angry clouds.
And while the picture at the right is an appropriate reflection of the intensity and amount of the rain.... it's not a reflection of what it looked like this afternoon. This was a picture of a rainstorm in Uganda I found on the internet... there was definitely running when the rains came this afternoon and I am bummed to have not captured it on camera. The market had just started and was in full force. The dark clouds were visible in the distance. Soon the winds came blowing dust all over.... and then the rains came... and come they did! Waited in a store for the rains to subside and hopped on the back of a Boda Boda to head back home. A backpack full of pineapples, onions, tomatoes, and or course some coca cola.
And that was just the afternoon. This weekend I am on call. And as of right now (just past 11 PM), it has been a pretty quiet afternoon. This morning, I arrived at the clinic right around 9 AM and had a young man waiting to be seen. He is one of the kids from my family group and he was struggling with a headache. Shortly after he arrived, an older lady arrived holding her jaw. A toothache gone bad. Gave her some pain medication and sent her to the hospital. The dentist comes to the hospital on Wednesdays and Saturdays.... and while I was hesitant if they would extract her tooth today due to the infection, I was thankful that dentist would be able to evaluate her. One of my sweet girls came in with what I suspect is mumps. It's going around and she had the symptoms. There were tests for malaria and a one sick with Brucellosis needing an IV and daily IV medication for a minimum of a week. Doing the math to figure out her dosage and thankful that we were stocked with normal saline. A staple back home, but not always a guarantee here. There were all of the normal doctor office things and other things that probably would have been at least an urgent care visit. And yet, God had me working today. And He was with me. When I couldn't get the IV in and I was her only option. We paused and we prayed and it went in. Yes, my hands were on the needle... but it was Him showing me the vein to go for. He has shown me time and time again that I am NOT alone. He is leading me, guiding me, and growing me. He is building up a team of health care workers to love on HIS children (big and small) and to be His hands and Feet. And I am loving it.
And after closing up the clinic just shy of one, I did a few errands and headed home. One of those errands was picking up a bottle of coke and a tray of eggs. Shortly after getting back home, Phiona came over. Phiona asked me a little over a month ago if I would mentor her. So, each week, we get together. It's a time to pour into her... to love her, encourage her, and to listen as she slowly entrusts me with her heart. And she is opening up. We laugh. We eat chocolate. And slowly, but surely I see as her heart opens further. May she know Jesus more and more. That is my prayer for her.
And so it is just shy of midnight. And I best be going to bed soon. Tomorrow brings another full day. Tomorrow all the staff from the clinic are getting together for a celebration dinner. Two of the nurses just graduated from nursing school. It's a huge accomplishment and one worth celebrating. There is a live chicken being brought to my house and rumor has it that I am going to kill it. It's something I plan on doing at some point.... but the thought of doing it in the morning is leaving me a little nervous. Thank you for letting me tell you about my day. Yes, thank you. Thank you for journeying along with me. For loving me, for praying for me, and for caring about the things that have become important to me. May we know Him more and more and may we each rest in Him.
Webale nyo. nsanuse kumbanga Ali balungi. Nsanuse njja ku laba gwe mu wiki musanvu!
(Thank you very much. I am happy because He is good. I am happy I will see you in seven weeks!)