It’s been so dark lately.
I keep hoping it will subside, that the light will break through. That would be a better place to write from. But then more darkness comes.
I can’t really capture it all, the ins and outs of different fronts, different battles, different darknesses.
There was another stabbing in our community. This was both our fourth & fifth stab victim. They went to the hospital by a hired cart, so we actually have only been helping transport family to and from the hospital and now in re-bandaging wounds daily.
Have you ever seen a stab wound? They are traumatizing. Even when I heard about it that afternoon, I could see all the others so clearly in my mind, all over again.
This time a number of the kids saw it, as it was around 3pm. One of the kids said she cried when she saw it. Is that okay? she asked.
Sometime on Tuesday I began to ask myself, Where do we live? Really, WHERE DO WE LIVE? How did I get here?
First you’re playing football in the street. You feel sorry for the poor children that surround you. You are trying to learn language and make a difference in their futures. You are hopeful.
And then you are sitting next to your nurse friend, who is helping you bandage these wounds. I hear myself tell her, I usually do it this way, as I wrap up the gauze I’m holding, it worked well with the other stabbings, so that the bandages didn’t stick. Is this okay to do? And she tells you, I don’t know. You know more about stabbings than I do.
And while you’re changing this bandage, you are sitting next to a three year old, a two year old, and a six-month-old, who have now all seen their uncle and their dad’s stab wounds. And they just lost their 11-year-old caregiver and friend last week when she moved to Bangkok. And they start to cry when you leave and tell them bye; and you’re trying to convince them it’s okay, you’ll be back. I know; she didn’t come back, but I will. It’s going to be okay.
But you’re kind of wondering if it is.
Is it going to be okay for this three-year-old that has reverted back even further in development since he lost his primary caregiver? What is he going to grow up to be? How do we prevent him from becoming a victim, too, or a knife-wielding attacker, for that matter?
Is it going to be okay for the abuse victim I went to see this week? I learned her husband isn’t talking to her; he won’t hold the baby because it isn’t the gender he wanted; and he’s not giving her enough food. She’s hungry. Now we’re sneaking money to her so she can buy her own food; we’re trying to create a job for her. I tell her to come tell us if she needs anything, if he tries to hurt her; it’s going to be okay. But I find myself wondering if it will be.
Or the eight people that came to tell us this week that they don’t have work. Is it going to be okay for them?
Or us–is it going to be okay for us?
The days when you aren’t sure how you got here, or when stab wounds became normal. The days when your dearest friends are desperate for food. The days when your dearest friends take advantage of you. The days when the nightmares come back and you think that what you’ve seen may haunt you forever. The days when you see the weight in your own eyes staring back in the mirror.
Is it going to be okay for us?
I keep reading these encouraging verses–about God’s goodness, about his burden that is light, his yoke that is easy; about him answering prayers and giving good gifts. Perhaps if I meditate on them again, perhaps I will see something differently. Perhaps it just won’t hurt this badly. Perhaps the light will break through.