I have a vision and I believe it will come true. I see myself in twenty years traveling around the world with my white gown on. Around me, I see a crowd of people suffering from AIDS, small children dying from all kinds of diseases, and my wife, exhausted and pale, assisting me with medical equipments. I smell pungent odor circulating the huts from patients’ decomposed skin and hemorrhage. I hear deafening cries of infants and adults, shouting from unbearable pain. I watch one patient recovering from a fatal illness, the helpers and his family members in incredible joy, while merciless death surreptitiously takes away a beloved one in an adjacent cot. I find myself in a room at night on my knees, sobbing and crying out in prayer. “I didn’t expect it to be this tough. Please help me. I can’t do this anymore,” I hear myself praying, or begging. Suddenly, someone screams for help, a patient. I run up to him, see that it’s nothing serious and give a simple injection. Then, freed from abysmal pain, he grabs my emaciated hand and whispers in a tender voice, in tears, “thank you.” Tears well up in my eyes in shame as I remember the moments when I wanted to run away from this and live a settled life like most of my friends. Life would sure be more comfortable in a big house with nice cars. But who will take care of these people? I almost hear God’s voice answering my prayer. Traveling back to the time in high school when I passionately made the decision to do this work, I softly answer back “Yes, I will continue.” Thinking about my favorite quote,—it is in giving that we receive—I fall asleep next to my lovely wife, whom I’m grateful for more than anyone or anything else in the world.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.