Learned something today. I am watching “Surgery Saved My Life” on the Discovery Channel, and I discovered a new way to diet. I was mowing down on some pimiento dip and celery sticks (halfway healthy, right? i think the celery helps to balance the ridiculously fatty pimiento-and-cheese concoction), but while watching brain surgery on the show, I just couldn’t do it. Ugh. So…try to eat something you REALLY love while watching a surgery program, or anything on Discovery Health channel, for that matter. Guaranteed to help you lose weight – and if you have a good memory, even more!
This show, while physically revolting, is amazing: the one I’m watching is about an Indian doctor who was schooled and works in the U.S. and goes back for a few weeks each year to perform FREE facial surgery of all kinds, repairing children born with cleft palates, deformed noses, and other facial abnormalities. Children here are fortunate enough to have these kinds of surgeries right away….children in India who are born like this are usually from the ‘untouchable’ caste, and are considered even lower–they are trash, nothing, in the eyes of their countrymen–when they have a malformed face. These children are constantly abandoned and left to die. That’s why this show is so moving. You can see the despair in the children’s eyes, and yet after surgery they are happy, smiling…and the parents are relieved, hopeful, and ecstatic, because they would NEVER be able to afford this.
I was talking with Michael about this, and there’s something about the suffering of children that really gets to me. They don’t deserve it, they can’t protect themselves, save themselves. I want to DO something, I want to help, and Michael’s strong sense of justice wells up whenever we talk about it. I have such a heart for kids suffering with AIDS, and kids who are malformed. I saw it up close in India when we were there in 2002. We played with these kids. We loved them. Many won’t make it to their tenth birthday. Some will, and will live in orphanages their entire lives, passing from this life to the next in a hospice for the destitute. It’s sadder than you can imagine, unless you’ve seen it. And yet, God is there. He is there. These children are not alone, and that is the only thing I can comfort myself with sometimes. If I could, I’d live in Africa, working with HIV-positive kids and their mothers. Or I’d have gone to medical school and do what this doctor does on the show I’m watching. I’d give hope by being there, loving and helping, being the hands of a loving God to the hopeless. Right now, though, I’m called to be here. I reconcile that by praying for the children, for mothers and fathers who have no hope, that the God of hope will be to them what I cannot, will love them in ways I cannot. I remember them.