Friday, June 8, 2012
A cup of cold water
Luljeta had her first doctor's appointment for the reconstruction of her face and eye. We waited hours for the doctor who was delayed in an operation. When he finally was able to see patients things got a little out of hand. Everyone wanted to be first and complained about the wait. An older Albanian man, who had waited longer than us, was furious. He complained to the nurse, the aid, and everyone in the waiting room. When his yelling hit an all time high, the Greek director came storming out of the exam room without his translator. He was livid! The Albanian man started in on him! Bad choice! Even though he could not understand Albanian, the Greek director was not too happy to be yelled at by this elderly Albanian man. So, he started talking to the man in Greek. I thought he had something important to say so I offered to be a translator. So, he switched to English. "I can see that you are an arrogant and obnoxious man! There is very little I can do to make your appointment come any sooner. Your attitude is wrong and you may be asked to leave if you continue." Wow. How do I translate that! UGH! Everyone in the room could tell in Greek or English he was not a happy camper. I spoke softly and gently to the Albanian with my hand patting his arm and said, "Don't be upset, we will all see the doctor soon. It will be ok. Don't worry. We will all wait here together. If you keep upsetting the director you will have to leave and not get the treatment you need. Please calm down." The Greek thanked me profusely and the Albanian looked a little timid. Everyone in the room was stressed and upset. I looked around thinking how can I defuse this situation. I saw in the corner behind a desk a water dispenser ... and the idea hit me. So I went behind the desk and started filling up water cups. I gave 'hot head' Albanian the first glass and then everyone else in the room. I had to 'sell' the water as everyone was embarrassed at first. 'It is good water, nice and cold! I know you are thirsty after sitting here for hours..." I then filled up more and more cups and worked the hall and the entrance area. I even found some takers among the nurses and staff. The room changed, people started laughing, talking, joking. The entire mood changed. I left the area for a minute to give Norm some water and as I handed it to him the verse came to mind - 'A cup of cold water in my (Jesus) name'. Ahhh. It hit me. I could not heal their scared body or deformed faces. I could not really comfort them in their enormous trials they had to face. A baby with a eye problem, a teenage girl with a large scar across her check, and my precious Lule with her deformed face, eye and head. I can't do much, but I can offer a cup of water. I found the old man later after his appointment and asked how it went. He was all smiles and said it was great. I said, 'God Bless you!' and he smiled sincerely. My heart is so full today as I look back and see how little I am and big God is! He has miracle water! Living water! Oh that people would receive it, oh that we would give it with love!