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Showing posts with label suffering. Show all posts
Showing posts with label suffering. Show all posts

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Atman (world) Hospital


symbolic

                “This is sure a junky, old hospital,” Jyoti grumbled. “As soon as I can I’ll be glad to move on to a better place. Why in the world is it called Atman hospital anyways? “
                Vivek stood behind the floor-length mirror in the staff washroom. She arranged her nurses’ cap just so on her long wavy hair that was formed in a knot at her neck. “That’s the Hindu word relating to ‘World’ or person. This huge hospital holds a cross-section of people from all walks of life. "
                “It looks like most of them are from the untouchable caste to me,”
                “Not so!” Vivek’s eyes flashed. “And besides we are not allowed to call them that!” How she wished to really tell this snobbish newcomer off. Every day since Jyoti had volunteered to work in Shalputa’s inner city hospital she had found something to complain about. If she finds it so dreadful why doesn’t she just leave?  She obviously doesn’t know a thing about the caste system and the benefits of it! Why if -----------wasn’t from the caste he is, he wouldn’t have received the assistance needed to find a bed in even this economy hospital.

                Jyoti’s voice cut through her thoughts. “Pardon me, your royal highness, and what caste are you from?”

                Vivek flushed red but didn’t deign to answer. She thinks her western ways are so superior to ours, but they aren’t, they simply aren’t. The Eastern Culture is as varied and beautiful as a rich tapestry.

While trying to keep a tight rein on her emotions, Vivek turned and sashayed out of the room.
Fifteen minutes later, while she was chatting with other caregivers at the nurses’ station, she lifted her eyes to see Jyoti strolling languidly towards them, coffee cup in hand.

                “What took you so long?” Leila, always the outspoken one, demanded. “Shift change was fifteen minutes ago, and Report is over.”

                “Oh, this and that,” Jyoti chose a chair and sipped indolently of her steaming beverage.

Vivek saw a spot on Jyoti’s uniform but Jyoti either hadn’t noticed or more likely didn’t care.
                “It looks like a long night is before us,” Jenna sighed.
                Jyoti shrugged, “The moaning and groaning doesn’t seem any worse than usual.”
                Vivek leaned back and peered down the dimly lit hall. A look of concern shadowed her features, but she kept her thoughts to herself. Will tonight be like every other night, with the staff enjoying the comforts of the brightly lighted lounge and only superficially going through the motions of making sure everyone is all right?
            Last night she had verbalized this concern, but Jyoti had responded. “They will come to us if they need to. They can ring their bell.”
                Vivek had nodded but she knew better.  How many would actually call? They are afraid that every act of service we provide will cost them something. Our ways are so strange and foreign to them that they will shrink back and think that…Vivek glanced at Jyoti and her lips curved slightly; that they are untouchables.
                Just then a bell tinkled from somewhere down the hall.
                Leila glanced pointedly at Jyoti. “That’s your patient.”
                Jyoti sighed, “I’m not quite done my coffee. It will be cold when I get back.”
                “Must you always put your own needs before others?” Leila snapped. “See there it rang again. It must be urgent.”
                Jyoti checked the number against the chart. “That only old Mrs. Farah. Probably wants to use the commode again.”

                “Well, what if you needed to use the commode, and couldn’t wait…” Feeling embarrassed, Jenna’s voice trailed off.
                “I’ll go,” Vivek said quietly.
                “Nah, I’m almost done.”
                “If that what’s Mrs. Farah wants, you’ll need help anyways.” Vivek started down the hall and Jyoti trailed after her.

                They attended to Mrs. Farah’s needs in a professional manner, but Vivek’s heart ached for the elderly woman. I almost wish I would have gone alone. Mrs. Farah is so sweet and frail. I wonder if she is afraid of the great beyond. She would never call out to ask for spiritual help, but shouldn’t we be offering it, somehow?

                The long night wore onThe girls went the rounds when it was time, and answered the bells when required to, but Vivek wished they could do more.

                Around three o’clock that night, the girls couldn’t resist the urge to slumber and sleep although they knew it was against the rules. When Jyoti was sound asleep on the couch, Jenna dozing in the rocking chair, and Leila deep in the pages of a book, Vivek took her little candle and slipped away into the darkness. She went into one room after another, the tiny light illuminating her face and a small area in front of her.  Some were sound asleep, but not everyone. She knelt beside Hanzia’s bed. The tiny child was weeping for her mother so Vivek smoothed a lock of hair off the small, delicate face and offered words of comfort.
                A little further on Gabi was muttering and tossing, sleepless. Vivek knew he must be in a lot of discomfort from the fractures suffered in a gang war earlier that week so thought of offering him a sedative.

                Gabi looked like he was going to lunge at her with his fists and hurled a few choice expletives her way, so she backed out hurriedly.
                Gabi stared at her in dismay. Why did I ever act like that? She looked like a ministering angel. I am so used to having to protect myself, but what if, just what if she had intended to show mercy? Vivek didn’t know how he felt in his heart and avoided him next time she passed by.
                Eventually, Vivek reached Mrs. Farah’s room supposing she would be fast asleep by now. The round orbs that were the old woman’s eyes were wide and staring as Vivek crept closer. Vivek placed the candle on the bedside table and knelt beside her. She placed the wrinkled, claw-like hand between her own, and stroked it gently.
                “Oh, Vivek, thank you for coming.” Mrs. Farah murmured. Vivek saw that her cheeks were damp where a tear or two had coursed down it.
                “Would you care to talk?”
                In the silence that followed Vivek dimly heard a bell tinkle, and the sound of passing feet.
                “What is beyond this life?” Mrs. Farah asked hesitantly.
                As Vivek quietly shared her hope of eternal life with God, Mrs. Farah listened eagerly.
"If we confess that we have sinned to Jesus," Vivek continued, "He will take them all away. Jesus has prepared a place in Heaven for them that love and serve Him."
                Eventually, Mrs. Farah fell into a deep and peaceful sleep, so Vivek let herself out of the room.
                Far down the hall, she saw the brightly lighted nurses’ station with the staff all dressed in white.

They were enjoying each other’s fellowship, which was pleasant, yet here in the dark and gloomy corridors, only the occasional beam of light was searching out the needs of a suffering society. Some cautioned against penetrating the darkness with all its dangers, and reminded her that they can come to us but once again Vivek wondered how many would actually dare.

          She slipped into a comfortable recliner and had nearly dozed off when Jenna’s words floated into her consciousness.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Let Him Hold You

Someone is trudging through a valley. Someone is carrying burdens heavier than you or I have ever carried, or maybe that someone is you. I prayed and prayed that I could write an article that would touch and comfort your heart but feel so inadequate.

The cry of my heart is: ‘Let my heart be broken by the things that break your heart, oh, God. Let’s me make a difference, let me bear the pain, give me Lord a caring heart.’ Those are words of my favorite song, but I have no idea who wrote them.  Maybe Bob Pierce?

You are suffering: maybe you have been imprisoned wrongfully and are beaten or subjected to solitary confinement or other cruelties. Maybe you are dying—I hate to write this word—of cancer and feel far too young to die. Maybe all your life you have endured shame and abuse and it feels like there is no way out.

What can I offer you? Reach out to the hand of Jesus if you haven’t already.  I have found him to be my greatest Comforter in the deepest of valleys.

Let go and rest in Him: let Him fill your being as you give yourself in full unconditional surrender to whatever you are facing. Don’t resist the cross you have to carry; it truly is a blessing in disguise.

Before I was healed I seemed to have sweeter communion with my Maker and now I have to struggle along like ‘normal’ people do. J

But, maybe on top of everything else you are facing persecution or some other form of abuse. I discovered a verse this morning that hopefully will be a blessing to you. ‘Show me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou Lord, has helped and comforted me.’ Psalms 86:17 Perhaps,  your sweet, Christ-like spirit will touch someone’s heart. Who knows?

Possibly you are closer to Heaven than the rest of us, or perhaps not. Don’t fear or resist the thought of ‘going through the veil’. If or when you do you are actually luckier than the others because you can meet Jesus, our Beloved Comforter, face to face, and your troubles, heartache and suffering will fall away like a garment.


Let Him Hold You!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Alone and Suffering

This poem is my gift to you  if you feel all alone and as if no one cares.  If you can, print it out and tuck it in a safe place where you can always find it. Contact me if you need someone to talk to.

You are the one
That needs a home
A mother's love
A Daddy's care

You are the one
Who haunts my dreams
Disturbs my sleep
With your sad stare.

You are the one 
Who will be sighing
In some dark place
Alone tonight.

You are the one
I'd love to find
Take to my heart
And hold you tight.

Oh Precious Child
Just pray to God
And trust in Him
I know He cares

Oh Troubled Child
I pray someone 
Will Find you soon
And call you theirs.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Fortress-The Haven

I started reading a book a few days ago that I will never finish. Not because it was too boring, or that the print was too fine, but it was too awful. It is about the Christians who were persecuted to the uttermost during the Early Ages. God knew that would happen, and prepared a wonderful place of safety for them. Not far from Judea were all the turmoil began, lay the Alps and from a distance they seemed like mighty walls of a fortress. Among these mountains lay seven lush and verdant valleys that were nigh on impenetrable. For a time.
The Devil was fiercely determined to eradicate every single one of Christ's followers and as the ages rolled on, he convinced evil men to resort to extreme cruelty to destroy men, women and children alike. For one or two to suffer like that from time to time, is one thing, but this was ongoing, generation after generation. Those Romish soldiers and others faced much exhaustion and danger to penetrate these valleys, but the evil zeal in their hearts egged them on.
It's a profound testimony to the power of Jesus that the Christians didn't disappear entirely.
         But that is not the end. It cuts my heart to the quick when I'm reminded that “we” are among the three percent of the most privileged on the face of the earth. “We” are not being persecuted. “We” are not poverty stricken, or ravished by war or famine, and yet “we” complain. Sometimes I wonder if I am worthy to be called a sister of those who suffered in earlier times. I want to be worthy. I want to be more worthy. We do have a wonderful Saviour who is worth dying for, but He is also worth living for. I would like the light of the gospel to penetrate the darkest corners of the earth. It is a message of hope and salvation. It brings joy and peace. It helps us to love one another. Even our enemies. Even today many are suffering for their faith. Do they know that we care? Do they know that we are praying for them? Our forefathers passed the torch on to us. Are we holding it high?
I

Monday, March 17, 2014

Just Pretend to Change

This is part of a true story from the Martyr's Mirror. Scroll down until you get to the first one about the Couple (or Neighbour Next Door and read upwards. It will make a lot more sense that way.

“Claudine, don't be so hard on yourself,” a childhood friend pleaded as she handed her a basket after the guard had left. “Just give lip service to their demands.”
Claudine's eyes widened. “You mean tell them I won't serve Jesus anymore?” That was unthinkable.
“Shh! Not so loud! The guard might hear you!” Grieken laid her hand on her friend's arm. “You have been in this dirty dungeon for over a year, now. Just tell them you will obey their rules, and--”
“But I can't!”
“Don't you want your baby back? I'm sure he is crying for you every night.”
Claudine's pale face crumpled.
“You can just pretend not to follow Jesus,” Grieken continued. “God will forgive you.”
“Maybe. But I could never forgive myself! Grieken why are you talking this way? He--our Heavenly father-- is so good to us!”
Grieken shrugged. “Others are recanting.”
“Others? Really?”
“Yes. They are terrified of being buried alive. That is the latest punishment.”
Claudine's white face grew even whiter and she leaned against the stone wall to keep from collapsing. She lifted her chin slightly. “I can never recant. Never! The thought makes me ill, dear sister. Jesus died for me. He's been with me every step of the way. Oh please don't suggest such awful things to me!'
Grieken lifted one corner of the cloth covering the basket. “I just wanted to help.”
She leaned closer and whispered into Claudine's ear. “There is a letter from your husband in there, so bite carefully.”
Claudine smiled weakly. That meant it was probably baked into the loaf of bread.
Are they praying for me?”
Grieken looked solemn. “Yes, sister. Everyday. Many times a day I am sure your name is breathed in prayer.”

Claudine nodded but didn't look up when Grieken left. Her heart was broken, but Jesus was there. It was enough.

Books by this author may be found at Tate Publishing, Amazon and elsewhere. Just type in Marilyn Friesen in the search box.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Atman (world) Hospital


symbolic

                “This is sure a junky, old hospital,” Jyoti grumbled. “As soon as I can I’ll be glad to move on to a better place. Why in the world is it called Atman hospital anyways? “
                Vivek stood behind the floor-length mirror in the staff washroom. She arranged her nurses’ cap just so on her long wavy hair that was formed in a knot at her neck. “That’s the Hindu word relating to ‘World’ or person. This huge hospital holds a cross-section of people from all walks of life. "
                “It looks like most of them are from the untouchable caste to me,”
                “Not so!” Vivek’s eyes flashed. “And besides we are not allowed to call them that!” How she wished to really tell this snobbish newcomer off. Every day since Jyoti had volunteered to work in Shalputa’s inner city hospital she had found something to complain about. If she finds it so dreadful why doesn’t she just leave?  She obviously doesn’t know a thing about the caste system and the benefits of it! Why if -----------wasn’t from the caste he is, he wouldn’t have received the assistance needed to find a bed in even this economy hospital.

                Jyoti’s voice cut through her thoughts. “Pardon me, your royal highness, and what caste are you from?”

                Vivek flushed red but didn’t deign to answer. She thinks her western ways are so superior to ours, but they aren’t, they simply aren’t. The Eastern Culture is as varied and beautiful as a rich tapestry.

While trying to keep a tight rein on her emotions, Vivek turned and sashayed out of the room.
Fifteen minutes later, while she was chatting with other caregivers at the nurses’ station, she lifted her eyes to see Jyoti strolling languidly towards them, coffee cup in hand.

                “What took you so long?” Leila, always the outspoken one, demanded. “Shift change was fifteen minutes ago, and Report is over.”

                “Oh, this and that,” Jyoti chose a chair and sipped indolently of her steaming beverage.

Vivek saw a spot on Jyoti’s uniform but Jyoti either hadn’t noticed or more likely didn’t care.
                “It looks like a long night is before us,” Jenna sighed.
                Jyoti shrugged, “The moaning and groaning doesn’t seem any worse than usual.”
                Vivek leaned back and peered down the dimly lit hall. A look of concern shadowed her features, but she kept her thoughts to herself. Will tonight be like every other night, with the staff enjoying the comforts of the brightly lighted lounge and only superficially going through the motions of making sure everyone is all right?
            Last night she had verbalized this concern, but Jyoti had responded. “They will come to us if they need to. They can ring their bell.”
                Vivek had nodded but she knew better.  How many would actually call? They are afraid that every act of service we provide will cost them something. Our ways are so strange and foreign to them that they will shrink back and think that…Vivek glanced at Jyoti and her lips curved slightly; that they are untouchables.
                Just then a bell tinkled from somewhere down the hall.
                Leila glanced pointedly at Jyoti. “That’s your patient.”
                Jyoti sighed, “I’m not quite done my coffee. It will be cold when I get back.”
                “Must you always put your own needs before others?” Leila snapped. “See there it rang again. It must be urgent.”
                Jyoti checked the number against the chart. “That only old Mrs. Farah. Probably wants to use the commode again.”

                “Well, what if you needed to use the commode, and couldn’t wait…” Feeling embarrassed, Jenna’s voice trailed off.
                “I’ll go,” Vivek said quietly.
                “Nah, I’m almost done.”
                “If that what’s Mrs. Farah wants, you’ll need help anyways.” Vivek started down the hall and Jyoti trailed after her.

                They attended to Mrs. Farah’s needs in a professional manner, but Vivek’s heart ached for the elderly woman. I almost wish I would have gone alone. Mrs. Farah is so sweet and frail. I wonder if she is afraid of the great beyond. She would never call out to ask for spiritual help, but shouldn’t we be offering it, somehow?

                The long night wore on. The girls went the rounds when it was time, and answered the bells when required to, but Vivek wished they could do more.

                Around three o’clock that night, the girls couldn’t resist the urge to slumber and sleep although they knew it was against the rules. When Jyoti was sound asleep on the couch, Jenna dozing in the rocking chair, and Leila deep in the pages of a book, Vivek took her little candle and slipped away into the darkness. She went into one room after another, the tiny light illuminating her face and a small area in front of her.  Some were sound asleep, but not everyone. She knelt beside Hanzia’s bed. The tiny child was weeping for her mother so Vivek smoothed a lock of hair off the small, delicate face and offered words of comfort.
                A little further on Gabi was muttering and tossing, sleepless. Vivek knew he must be in a lot of discomfort from the fractures suffered in a gang war earlier that week so thought of offering him a sedative.

                Gabi looked like he was going to lunge at her with his fists and hurled a few choice expletives her way, so she backed out hurriedly.
                Gabi stared at her in dismay. Why did I ever act like that? She looked like a ministering angel. I am so used to having to protect myself, but what if, just what if she had intended to show mercy? Vivek didn’t know how he felt in his heart and avoided him next time she passed by.
                Eventually, Vivek reached Mrs. Farah’s room supposing she would be fast asleep by now. The round orbs that were the old woman’s eyes were wide and staring as Vivek crept closer. Vivek placed the candle on the bedside table and knelt beside her. She placed the wrinkled, claw-like hand between her own, and stroked it gently.
                “Oh, Vivek, thank you for coming.” Mrs. Farah murmured. Vivek saw that her cheeks were damp where a tear or two had coursed down it.
                “Would you care to talk?”
                In the silence that followed Vivek dimly heard a bell tinkle, and the sound of passing feet.
                “What is beyond this life?” Mrs. Farah asked hesitantly.
                As Vivek quietly shared her hope of eternal life with God, Mrs. Farah listened eagerly.
"If we confess that we have sinned to Jesus," Vivek continued, "He will take them all away. Jesus has prepared a place in Heaven for them that love and serve Him."
                Eventually, Mrs. Farah fell into a deep and peaceful sleep, so Vivek let herself out of the room.
                Far down the hall she saw the brightly lighted nurses’ station with the staff all dressed in white.

They were enjoying each other’s fellowship, which was pleasant, yet here in the dark and gloomy corridors only the occasional beam of light was searching out the needs of a suffering society. Some cautioned against penetrating the darkness with all its dangers, and reminded her that they can come to us but once again Vivek wondered how many would actually dare.

          She slipped in to a comfortable recliner and had nearly dozed off when Jenna’s words floated into her consciousness.