Yesterday, our team visited the Home for Sick & Dying Adults in Carrefour, Haiti. Although several of the patients were at mass when we arrived, I was able to spend some time with a young adult who was very ill. I believe she suffered from malnutrition. Her belly looked as if she was 8 months pregnant and it was rock hard. Her arms and legs were skinny and frail. She was so weak that she could not even tell me her name, but I noticed that she was lying in Bed #7.
I offered to give her a massage, and she immediately gave me a little head nod yes. I massaged her arms, legs, hands and feet with lotion. When I offered to paint her nails, she declined since she was just too sick to enjoy them. She had a deep sadness and fear in her eyes ... like she knew that her time on this earth was limited. I tried to reassure her telling her "Jezi renmen ou" and "Mwen renmen ou" (Jesus loves you. I love you.), but I knew my words were not enough.
I moved closer to her as I was sitting on her bed. Suddenly, she lifted her left arm and placed it around my neck. Then, she lifted her right arm and did the same. It took some effort to give me a hug, but she was trying as hard as she could. I laid my hand on her forehead and said a silent prayer over her that God would give her peace. I wanted to know her story so badly. I wanted to take away her worries. I wanted to reassure her that everything would be alright. Instead, I had to walk away knowing that God is in control and that He has Bed #7 under close watch. He knows who she is and she is precious in his sight.
"Father ... please heal your child in Bed #7, but if it is her time to leave this earth, take her peacefully in her sleep. May she rest in your loving arms."
(no photos are allowed at Home for the Sick & Dying)