Sunday, July 17, 2011

latex gloves

sometimes simple things make the most difference in the world. i try to remember that, especially on days that are difficult. i have had a lot of difficult days recently, so i have spent a lot of time remembering simple things, praying that God will show me simple things, small things.
last week, one of those simple things involved a latex glove.

please note: i am not a doctor. i am not a divine healer of wounds. but, i have a Savior who is.

and last week, i sat on some dirty concrete with a clear plastic box containing band-aids, gauze, nail clippers, iodine, and latex gloves. pretty professional, eh?
i had clipped some long, dirty fingernails earlier and distributed a couple band-aids, but after it looked like all the needs had been met, i started jumping rope and chasing balls with the hoard of children that had gathered for our lesson that day.
but, as things were winding down and crafts were being finished, someone walked up to me and cast her eyes at a little girl sitting on the side with her mother. the mother wondered if we could clean her daughter's wounds. so, i made my way over. and, the 8-year-old girl immediately began to fidget, telling her mom "no, no, no" as tears welled up in her eyes. she knew it would hurt and she was scared. i sat down with her and asked her name. i told her my name. i asked her what had happened and if it hurt. she told me that 6 days before she had been burned with hot water. and, yes, it hurt. i showed her my big toe and the sore that remained from an accident earlier in the week. i told her that i understood that it hurt. i asked if i could help her, and she timidly nodded in agreement. her mom helped her unbutton her pajama top and take it off, revealing more burns.
it was at this moment that i realized my absolute inadequacy and prayed for wisdom, for mercy, for compassion. and, as i started to put on my latex gloves, i pulled one off again. i put it to my mouth and inflated it. i tied it closed and handed it to her. i told her that if it hurt, to squeeze the fingers tight. so, she did. as i swabbed her open wounds, i told her she was brave and strong. and, she smiled through the pain. i cleaned her chest. i cleaned her neck. i cleaned her forehead. she had already been to the doctor and previous bandages had been removed leaving sticky residue. so, i used wet wipes to remove the stickiness. and, after i was finished, i helped her put her yellow pajama shirt back on. with the help of a khmer co-worker, i told her mother that the wounds were healing well and to just keep them dry and clean, that they would be all better soon.
and, i watched them walk away toward their home...holding an inflated latex glove.

"we cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love." ~ mother teresa

Lord, teach me to love well in small things...

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