Read a quote today from a Paul Miller book, something along these lines: love is the work we do along our journey, and faith is what keeps us on the road. But hope is the end of the journey, the destination. It came to mind again when another missionary commented that she enjoyed working with girls at Christ School, it gave her hope. And then later walking back home a bright rainbow reached down from the clouds behind our house. Hope.
We need glimpses of the behind-the-veil rainbow reality as we walk through this damp and (at times) dark valley. God provided some today. A 9 month old healed from meningitis: when I slipped the needle into his spine ten days ago and pus dripped out I doubted he would make it. But we had a few vials of a good antibiotic ceftriaxone. His gram stain showed an organism that was treatable, and now ten days later he looks fine and is on the way home, parents gratefully aware of their blessing. I also sent home a little boy who was admitted about an hour after Innocent last week—both had sickle cell disease, both had hemoglobin 3.3, both had one foot over the threshold into the next world. But Innocent died and John lived, fragile, weak, multiple blood transfusions later, I found him this morning standing by his bed with a bright pink hooded ski jacket on. Again his mother realized all too graphically, watching the grief of Innocent’s family, the narrow escape of her child. Next to him another little girl had emerged from life-threatening anemia and was giggling. Across the aisle a six-year-old revived by milk and porridge, his pregnant mother widowed and then divorced since he was born, on her own, not managing to keep him from the edema of slow protein-deficient starvation. But a week of food had turned him around, again, maybe not for the last time. He told me how much he likes the milk. Hope marches on, God saying that the lives for which we struggle are precious and that some skirmishes will be won, then more will be won, until we reach the end of the journey.