(Picture credit: Samaritan’s Purse of Dr. Roskos)
Have you ever been humbled by something another person did?
Kent and Amber Brantly went to Liberia to provide health care in an area with few doctors and little medical supplies. Kent is a doctor and Amber is a nurse. They also have two children, and they all moved to Liberia. They continued to work there even during the deadly Ebola virus epidemic. Reading their book, >“Called by Life”, I was amazed and humbled by their willingness to help strangers, knowing the dangers of helping people with Ebola.
During their time in Liberia, only one person out of one hundred survived Ebola at the hospital where the Brantleys worked. Kent did get Ebola, and nearly died. He was evacuated by airplane to continue treatment in Atlanta, Georgia. He survived after a month long ordeal. His wife Amber and their two kids had left Liberia a few days earlier to head to the U.S. for a family wedding. They did not get the disease. Yet Kent and Amber had been willing to risk it. Amazing!
Kent says in the book that he was humbled by all the doctors and nurses who volunteered to take care of him, even though he had a deadly and very contagious disease. I know that I too was humbled by all the people praying for me when I was battling cancer for several years. I was also humbled by my cancer doctor, who was available by phone 24/7 during my treatments. During cancer I never felt so loved, not just by friends and family, but by people who did not know me.
Part of love is compassion for other people. Going through a trauma yourself gives us compassion for hurting people. Whether we experience a car accident that puts us in the hospital, or cancer that requires years of treatments, or get too sick to even get out of bed, the experience gives us a new level of compassion for anyone suffering a serious health concern.
Somehow our fear gets overshadowed by the compassion. And our heart that did not care about strangers, instead fills with compassion. It is one way that God can use a difficult experience we suffer through to grow our spiritual capacity for love. As Jesus said, the second most important commandment is “love your neighbor”. The thing is, for people like the Brantlys, a neighbor is even a stranger half-way across the world. Yes, humbling love.
It is so easy to make excuses not to help someone. When you feel compassion, somehow the excuses don’t matter anymore.
>Click Samaritan’s Purse for more information on medical missions.