"Give me faith O Lord, for I have none"
I have a patient, his name is Abdulrahman. He has just celebrated his 8th birthday at the hospital. I have known him for more than three months. My bond with him grows quite uniquely. We seldom talk because of his limited English (he is from Arab), and he is too big for me to carry as I would the other kids. Rather, our bond grows from touches and short sentences.
There were times when Abdulrahman would suddenly place his hand on my shoulder and smile. When he felt pain all over his body, he would say, “Sister, alam” (which means pain in Arabic) and ask to be hug for a moment. Many times my colleagues would request me to give him injection (he would sometimes need five injections a day), not because I am an expert of giving injections—no, not at all. A colleague said, “Maybe he is more relaxed if it is Sofia who gives him the injection.” He always tried not to scream even if the injection was very painful. The last time when I gave him injection, he put his shivering hand on my shoulder and squeezed it, resisting the pain.
These past few weeks his condition was pretty bad—his transplant failed; herpes virus has attacked his lips, mouth, and throat; part of his tongue has blackened; due to diarrhea his buttocks are inflamed. Marks of injections are all over his body and I don’t know where I should give the injection. His has four boxes of medicine—everyday he needs to take around fifty tablets. Now the virus has begun to attack his brain and caused him to confuse (blank stare, inability to control his body).
Two days ago I accompanied him to CCU (Critical Care Unit). This heart of mine felt such an agony and distress. As I work, I had to hold back my tears and this made me feel as if I was being strangled. Only God is able to give me strength to endure and to comfort my heart. Abdulrahman teaches a lot of things to me—about life and its struggle, about hope, and faith. Often I lack faith that God is able to cure him.
One morning as I struggle in prayer about this thing, one part of the Bible gave me strength. In Mark 1:40 a man with leprosy asked, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” There is faith evident in this sentence. He was cured. Also in Mark 2, a paralytic was made to walk because of the faith of his four friends, who lowered him down through an opening in the roof. My faith was again challenged. What a little faith I have. That morning one thing I asked of God, “Lord, teach me to have faith in You. Give me faith everyday as I work, even when there seems to be not a glimpse of hope.”
Psalm 62 5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. 6 He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. 8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.