February 17, 2009

The Death of Africa: Part 2

...A continuation of The Death of Africa: Part 1

The dream-clouds around us seemed to tighten and turn black: The cell phone stayed off.

Panic welled inside me; I threw the phone to its grave and knelt beside Africa. Her convulsions slowed until she lay motionless on the dry grass. I racked my brains for something I could do to save her for her stillness was even more frightening than her seizure. After a few seconds I recalled a “fix-it-all herb” which, supposedly, could cure any ailments.

My dream seemed to know what I wanted and its swirling fog produced an herb garden not two feet away from us. The dark clouds scooped me up and deposited me directly in front of the herb. It was as if time had slowed. I leisurely chose three of the best sprigs off the plant. When I came to her, she still lay quietly on her bed of dead grass, gasping for breath through the blood and froth.

I reached down to rip a piece off my shirt but paused when I saw that this was my favorite and most expensive blouse. Instead, I threw my shoe down with the cell phone and pulled off my sock. Cradling her head on my lap I wiped away the foam around her mouth with my sock. The dreamy mist came nearer as her eyes fluttered open for the last time. I crooned gently to her as I fed her the herbs, “Everything will turn out ok. It always does. Just eat one more and you will feel better. It’s alright now.”

Everything did not improve; Africa wouldn’t eat one more. I did not notice her inflamed skin touching mine. I did not notice the lice crawling on me. I did not even notice that now she had just two clingy rags left. I only noticed her breathing. It had stopped. My eyes closed as despair surged up from my toes and ripped each thought apart, shoving panic to the passenger seat. Africa had died.

Pushing aside any caution concerning my favorite blouse, I immediately started CPR. Not remembering the correct organization of pumps and breaths, I settled with five breaths then fifteen pumps to her chest. It took five minutes of repeating that process to snap my last thread of hope. I flopped down beside her still form, weeping uncontrollably; I had failed.

A deep voice echoed from the dreamy haze, “My child, why do you weep?” Still weeping, I croaked, “Lord, Lord I am weeping for the one I could not save!” “You could not save?” He gently inquired, “Child, please tell me what you did to save Africa.” “Lord God Almighty, I called for a doctor, but my phone was dead. I fed her some herbs but she wouldn’t eat them all.” I paused, “Then, when she stopped breathing, I performed CPR as well as I could remember.” My tears wet her cold face in despair. My Lord asked, “Did you not turn to Me for help?” Another flood of tears fell when I whispered, “No.” He aggrievedly whispered back, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46) The only escape from death is through My Son” I only wept harder. Then He spoke in such a comforting way that I could almost imagine His arm around my shoulders, “Stop weeping, for she has not died, but is asleep.” (Luke 8:52b)

His still small voice cut off my doubt, “Do not be afraid any longer; only believe, and she will be made well.” (Luke 8:50b) “But Lord, shouldn’t...” God’s voice boomed like thunder, “Child, do you still not believe? Am I to be subject to your doubts?” He quieted, “Child, knowledge has been your downfall today; do not let the knowledge I have bestowed upon you be used again without My wisdom.

Africa stirred in my arms and her eyes fluttered open. I smiled. She wearily sat up and smiled back. The Great Physician’s words reverberated inside my head: The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.

Luke 8:50 “But when Jesus heard this, He answered him, ‘Do not be afraid any longer; only believe, and she will be made well.’”

Luke 8:52b [Jesus said] …“Stop weeping, for she has not died, but is asleep.”

Luke 6:31-32b [Jesus said] … “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.”

Luke 6:46 [Jesus said] …“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”

Luke 18:27

“But He said, ‘The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.”

1 comment:

Richard said...

wow. Thank you dianne