I was listening to a song a couple of weeks ago and there was a part in there that says:
“Some days are long, some work is tough
Whatever I lack You make it up
Your yoke is easy, Your burden is light
You gave me life, You give me love
Whenever I’m dry You fill my cup
Your yoke is easy, Your burden is light”
The song is based on Matthew 11:28-30 which for a couple of months now has been a bit of a theme verse in my life. At every turn things come back to this verse and this experience with this song was no different.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I went in to last week’s women’s caravan burdened. There was a lot more prep than normal since we were going to be in a remote area with minimal access in which to refer patients for consults. Not only was I feeling burdened, but there was a very strong sense of anxiety that came along with this caravan as well. I didn’t know why the anxiety other than the prep had been more than I thought and as is often the case, I felt in over-my-head in leading a caravan like this. So, I hear this song and one of the lines that stood out is what is highlighted above, whatever I lack, you make it up! That is a fabulous summary of this caravan for me. I felt in over-my-head, weighted down and burdened, anxious and God made it all up. All that I lacked, in spite of me, HE made it up. He showed up. As He always does. In spite of all of our weakness, He shows up, again and again.
During the second day of the caravan, a family traveled five hours to see us from Puyo (another jungle town) for help because they heard there were doctors that could help them. Their son has a genetic condition that requires a lot of care and a lot of expensive medicines. As he was one of our last patients of the day, I was feeling tired and worn out and wondered what else I could give. None of us are specialists in the area, but I felt such a responsibility to help or at least try since their family had traveled so far…for some hope. I contacted my kids’ pediatrician in Quito who is well connected and eventually he was able to reach out to contacts of his to try and get them help. Is this what I imagined this situation might turn out like? No. After talking with the family I felt very helpless and in all honesty, pretty hopeless that I didn’t think we could do anything. Did we cure our sweet new friend? No. But we were in a place where we could connect them and that is a win, that is hope! Our team prayed with the family and as so many times before, I realized my limitations as a medical provider. That sometimes we have to get over ourselves and the idea that we can cure everything and realize the great healer has been here all along and shows up in ways we can’t imagine, connecting the dots and putting people where he wants to be a piece in a much bigger puzzle.
That is what so much of these caravans and care are. It isn’t curing everything. Sometimes it is being a piece in a puzzle, sometimes it is a laugh or a smile, but mostly it is presence. It is time spent together empowering women to know and understand their worth. To know they are loved, seen and cared for. Did I feel burdened, yes, was it worth it? Again, yes. It is always worth it to be part of God showing up and allowing us to be instruments in this love journey together.