The Doctor saw me that Saturday and while he did not look very worried, he did insist that I visit the big Government facility for a critical test they did not have the equipment to carry out. So on this bright Monday morning I find myself in the Government hospital in a sea of humanity.
From the swirling crowd, I wondered how many people were left in the city who were not ill or in need of medical attention. To my immediate left was an obviously new mother with a baby who could not have been more than a few days old. The baby was crying pityingly and the mother hunched over as she tried to give suck without exposing herself completely. She winced in pain as the infant grabbed at her and my suspicion was confirmed that she was a new mother. I was tempted to give her a few lessons on the proper way to position herself and the infant for a less painful and more effective feeding time but I thought better of it. I had my own issues and didn’t feel up to talking to anyone. There were so many people; I tried to make polite inquiries and was directed to the payment section. First you have to pay for a folder, and then go to a separate place for the folder. There were too many people and I was seriously tempted to junk the whole process and go home. I knew my hubby would not let me hear the last of it if I did that and besides, I was here already, was I not? With one more person to go before it got to my turn, a fat, official-looking lady bustled her way to the front and started exchanging pleasantries in vernacular with the clerk. She had a man in tow and I knew they were jumping the queue. I sighed wearily! Why do we find it so difficult to wait patiently for services in this Nigeria? Everywhere one goes, there’s someone who knows someone who knows someone who…..We never want to wait for our turn and it beats me why.
Finally fees paid and long queues scaled, I find my way to the consulting rooms and my heart almost broke! There were more people waiting to see the Doctors than I had imagined. Every available space was taken up by men women and children. Short, Tall, Fat, Skinny, all shades of colour and all ethnic groups. Some had come with family members, some were obviously pregnant, some were old and there were a few children. An unhealthy representation of humanity. Here was misery in all its sickly ugliness and I wished there was something I could do about it. For the moment, I forgot my own issues; in fact, I could no longer feel the pain that had plagued me all week and had landed me in this abode of misery. I just wanted everyone else to be well and able to get up and go. Then I started to think of the One whose thought is never far from me these days. I thought of Jesus Christ my Saviour and what He would do if He were the one here? Then I realized that He had given me the same power that He had for healing the sick. So why was I staring helplessly at the the sick and infirm? Why could I not just go to each person and lay my hands and heal them? Why did I feel this sense of helplessness and inability? Why oh why could I not do anything? I was moved with compassion but that was all! And I can’t help but wonder why I’m not more like my Master; is it my sin or my unbelief or failure to exercise faith? or just plain cowardice? Could it be that at the back of my mind was a niggling fear of what the people would do or say to me if I started praying for them? I don’t really know, but I think that maybe, I do not love them enough. My Master loved so much, He was willing to lay down His life. His total agenda was the salvation of people. What is my own agenda?
I fear the answer!