Faith Stories: The Blessing Will Always Remain
When I looked down and saw my foot descending just beyond the edge of the concrete step, I had time for one quick thought. “You’re not going to fall!” I said to myself and then I fell. It was a long flight of steps and before landing at the bottom I managed to strike some part of my body against each one. The director of the Bareilly Baby Fold where our India mission team was staying heard a cry and quickly came out of her office to see what had happened. She helped me up and I walked gingerly into the dining room, where we had just had breakfast. The other team members came running. They brought ice for my rapidly swelling forehead and Advil for my pain. For a few minutes it seemed that, with a few bandages for elbow and knee, I would be able to go out to the work site and paint. But then the real pain began. On the left side of my body a massive hematoma was forming. Simply put, I had never experienced such piercing, agonizing pain before. We all agreed I needed hospital care.
Fortunately, the Clara Swain Hospital, founded in the nineteenth century by Methodist missionaries, sits next to the Baby Fold. A small ambulance, hastily summoned, carried me and the team leader to the hospital in a matter of minutes. I was quickly admitted and by early afternoon, I had x-ray, CT scan, MRI, ultrasound, and EKG testing completed and I was resting in a private room.
This was a time of great physical suffering for me but it was a time when I felt truly blessed. Being a fairly independent character, I am not used to being taken care of. Now I was in a situation where I was unable to manage for myself, and I found myself surrounded by signs of God’s love and care. The doctors provided excellent medical treatment. Although for the most part we shared neither language nor culture, the hospital staff was conscientious and caring. The Baby Fold cook sent special meals. Mission team members took turns keeping me company each day and kept me up to date on events with the Bible school and paint project. A few of the older boys from the Baby Fold spent nights in my room making sure I was comfortable; they were all excellent caregivers. In everyone I have mentioned I saw the face of Jesus, our servant master, and felt his love.
Miraculously, none of my injuries were serious. After three days I was able to rejoin the team. The work project had been completed but a few days of touring lay ahead before the flight home. Now, the pain and memory of the pain have faded. The blessing will always remain.