As we sat in the shade, enjoying unhurried gulps of water, we felt the flutter of excitement in our hearts as we came to a closing of a passion-filled conversation.
We sat on our tiled steps outside my screened bedroom windows, with eagerness from our renewed remembrance of His power, the things we ourselves have experienced, and the miracles we have seen, specifically through His power to heal.
My friend Auguste, a CIT in the summer of 2017, began sharing about an older man she had met in the community who wasn’t well, still suffering from the injuries of an accident months earlier. He laid cooped up in his shack with little mobility and care.
We all gazed at one another, knowing that we needed to run into the throne room for this new friend. So we hopped off the steps, running to grab shoes and to head towards his home. As we were only a few minutes from arriving, I caught a glance of a man I had never seen before. I wish I could say it was something else that caught my attention, but it was the shocking appearance of what covered his face that caught my eye.
Instantly we knew, it wasn’t Auguste’s elderly, injured friend that our All-Knowing Father was calling us to that day, it was this man.
We will call him ‘T’.
An unexplainable infection had consumed his face, making it hard to speak and open his mouth as usual. He was in extreme pain, the pain even making it hard to eat.
Luckily, the divine Doctor was waiting for us to give Him a call.
We were determined that the Lord would take this growing infection away, so we prayed with expectancy, laying hands on his shoulders, back and head.
Auguste leading us, we then we prayed again.
We knew that even the pain he was experiencing could be lessened if the Creator desired it to be so.
And finally, as we ended in ‘amen’s, ‘T’ smiled a smile I would end up knowing him for – his throbbing had vanished. He was moving his jaw up and down, luminous with joy as he felt better than he had in days.
We rejoiced, of course, and ‘T’ praised His name with us.
Two days later we went to visit ‘T’, certain his face would be restored..and healed he was! His oozing infections had begun the healing process, and it was obvious that the Lord had met us on that dusty, dirt path.
In the weeks ahead, we would see ‘T’ working construction around our community, his clothes dust covered with dirty hands, but his face, healed. His face had returned to normal.
A few weeks later I visited America, and when I returned weeks later to Haiti I was met with unanticipated news.
A young, quiet spirited friend came knocking on our gate, greeting me with tentativeness.
“Brooke, your friend has died.”
Terrified with the name he would give me, I begged to know who.
Many in the community continued to share with me the news, nobody certain as to why he had passed.
“He was sick.”
“But he was healed!”, I would yell back in my head.
Questions flooded my mind,
Why would He allow this to happen?
Was his face infection the cause? Had we only believed it to be healed?
I couldn’t understand then, and now near a half of a year later, I still am taken aback by the still grief that pangs my heart.
And I find questions pushing to overflow out of my mouth faster than I want to allow Him to speak. I contemplate, how near impossible it is for us to stay focused on what is eternal in contrast to what is physically standing before us now. It’s hard to imagine that our physical state and everything we know is not all there is. And He asks me ever-so gently,
“Do you trust that I know what I’m doing in my Story?”
As I attempt to write the story I think would play out well, I am lessening who He is and all that He does. ‘T’ living sounds better. I like the story of watching a man in his early twenties being healed before our eyes and living a happy life.
But a faith that trusts Him only in the happy endings is a false faith.
I won’t pretend to know the answers, and may never understand why our friend had to die, but I trust in the Lord whose Story brings glory upon glory to His name.
Although I miss T’s joyful smile, especially as his face scabbed over and eventually rid itself of all evidence of any infection whatsoever, I trust in my Father who’s Story is..yes, not always a breeze, but wonderful.