My head pounded as droplets of sweat formed above my upper lip and on my forehead. I put my pen down and took a sip of lukewarm water while I awaited the next patient. As I sat at a small table in the stale heat of a tiny, one roomed Haitian church, people of all ages crowded the doorway of the make-shift health clinic and formed somewhat of a line out the door and down the bumpy, dusty, dirt road. Overwhelmed with an odd mixture of joy, compassion and sorrow, I smiled welcomingly as the next patient sat down and smiled back at me. But unlike most of the patients before, this woman’s smile had fear hiding in the corners of her lips. I prepared to take her blood pressure and as I slipped the cuff over her hand, she pulled away slowly. She looked down as she lifted a tiny bundle from her lap and pulled aside the blanket to reveal the most heart wrenching thing I had ever seen. I looked down at the dying baby, and bit my tongue to keep from crying. She was beautiful, yet so fragile, crippled with malnourishment. Living in America, this was something I had never seen before. Her arms were too small and fragile for me to take her blood pressure, so I sent her to the next table for a diagnosis and prescription from one of the doctors on our mission team.
Moments later I was called to the back of the church where a group from my team surrounded the mother and baby to pray. As I lay my hand on her thin arm, she turned her head slightly towards me, her eyes still closed, and her body still limp as Death gripped and suffocated her delicate frame.
The next morning, the mother arrived at the mission house as instructed by the doctors. In her arms, she held the beautiful, fragile child. The doctors examined her yet again to find ways to infuse nourishment into her motionless body. This time her eyes were slightly open, but she still barely moved. One of the nurses from our team slipped away quietly and returned moments later with an I.V. in her hand. The doctors were able to inject nutrients into the baby’s bloodstream to help her grow stronger. Once again, we laid hands on the baby to pray for her strength and healing. The doctors left the I.V. in and directed the mother how to care for the baby during the next few of days.
Several days later, the mother returned with her beautiful little girl. I hardly recognized her as the doctors removed the I.V. from her arm. She whimpered and squirmed, waving her hands about. That little whimper was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard.
I believe that miracles truly do happen. For me, as a Christian, I believe that miracles happen through prayer, through faith, and through the beauty and the power of God’s love.
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