Last night Liz died. Two weeks ago they moved her to Mulago hospital in Kampala, and the last report I had from her aunties was that she was improving with more consistent dressing changes. Then, yesterday a friend of mine visiting Kamapala went to visit her at Mulago. He found her when she had been transferred to the ICU ward and he was not allowed to enter and speak to her. He said that she had gotten worse and frequently wasn't in her right mind anymore, constantly talking but not making any sense. Last night I prayed for her again and woke this morning as usual to go to language lessons. After my lessons, I found out from my friend Sharon (who started this whole thing with me) that Liz had died in the night. Knowing that crying isn't acceptable here, I had to flee the room before sobbing into my hands. Later this afternoon I got confirmation from her aunt that she is dead, and they are moving her body even now from Kampala back to Mbale. Tomorrow I will go to her. To be with her family and to grieve my friend.
In my head I ask myself, why does this hurt so bad? I knew her for only a short time. Just 5 weeks. But in those 5 weeks the Lord bound my heart to hers and I learned to care for her with His own love and compassion. I just knew she was going to be well. I just knew the Lord had saved her from her own hand because He had an amazing future for her. I just knew that inspite of the inadequate medical care, the disgust and judgement of those around her, and her own internal battles, the Lord was going to do a miracle and heal her!
So what happens when the miracle doesn't come? What happens when Jesus delays and instead of bringing healing, allows death? Like when Mary and Martha spent 4 days weeping and mourning the loss of Lazarus after begging Jesus to come and heal their brother. Like Mary, I simply want to fall at His feet and cry with Him. To mourn sickness and pain and death. To weep and to pray for His comfort and companionship.
Because I know that this is all for His glory. That He is accomplishing His good and perfect plan even through death. And right now, I just need to be with Him. To cling to Him with perfect confidence and assurance that He is good. Realizing that maybe the bright future on earth that I had imagined for Liz wasn't good enough, and even now He has a more perfect plan in motion.
As I go to her family tomorrow, I'm lost. I was never very sure what to say to them when Liz was alive, and even less now that she's gone. But I know my purpose in being sent to them before was to be the living, breathing love and compassion of Jesus, and that hasn't changed. So would you please pray? Pray the the Spirit gives me words of healing to speak, and silences the words that could damage. Pray that my face, my tears, my words, and my actions would all be used to demonstrate the love and mercy that He would so love to offer them as well. And pray with me for His return. For the day when there will be no more death or pain, and He will wipe away every tear from our eyes.