Saturday, 27 August 2011

A smile

In the dimming of a monsoonal evening - it was her smile that stood out.

We had just finished a small time of prayer.

The setting is the corner room of our Jeveen Sahara Kendra Care Centre.

Her husband was lying in his bed. We had just sang and prayed and talked with them about hope. I had talked about Mat. 11.28 where Jesus tells us "come unto me - all you who are weak and heavy-laden - and I will give you rest."

Throughout the time I could see her smile. Radiant.

Lets call her Rita. And lets call her husband Binod.

Binod has HIV. His CD4 count is pitifully low. Only 76. He is suffering from diarrheoa. Two days ago he went 25 times to the toilet.

Binod and Rita are from a village beyond a nearby town. They heard about us through a doctor. They came. Sheba admitted them yesterday afternoon.

As the monsoon rain poured down outside, and Agnes the nurse on duty, uncle Salins, Amol and I were in the room with Binod and Rita, I saw briefly the world through her eyes. The sudden change from wherever they were - whatever fear-filled situation they had been living through - to a beautiful, clean place - where the nurses speak with love, where hope is given.

The smile reflected that.

We don't see many smiles like that.

Most of our friends are in such complicated situations that even when they come here the burdens and the knotted situations that they are living through dampen the spirit.

But for Rita - not even 2 hours of care for her husband Binod - was enough to bring a rainbow of beauty on her face.

At the end of our prayer Rita tried to touch my feet. We dissuaded her telling her that only God deserves our adoration.

This is why we are here. With all our short-comings - this is what we seek to do - to be a safe place for those whose lives are anything but safe.

The person I thought would be admitted did not come for admission yet.

Manish is a man with two teenaged sons - and who lost his wife to HIV 4 months ago. Manish is very sick. He has diabetes and his kidneys are losing their function. But he is afraid of treatment. He and his sons have seen their mother die. The son wants to take him to the village because Manish's brothers live their. We know that if he goes there Manish will not come back.

We are hoping that Manish will come for admission this morning.

Last night Binod passed stool 3 times. We had his TB sputum tests and other investigations done this morning. He is on the road to recovery.

We hope.

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