Thursday, September 19, 2013

Miriam, Tashami, Carmen and God

Last night Miriam called us. We met Miriam two summers ago at our first wheelchair distribution event, in front of our community center. We handed out some 20 chairs and enjoyed Colin Roth do a break dancing presentation. We also began got to meet the wheelchair recipients and their families. A team from Leroy Community Chapel was also here with us during that event.

I'm going to insert a bit of what I wrote a day or two after that event.

After one of our wheel chair events, during which time a special guest from Texas did a break dancing routine and we had a special open mic time, I noticed Miriam with her daughter, Tashami, and two other daughters waiting for public transportation.  “I can take you home,” I offered.

Tashami suffers from microcephaly and  cerebral palsy.  She is ten years old.  Wheel chairs are expensive, out of her families budget.  Tashami desperately needed the chair, and her mother expressed her gratitude as we dropped her off at her house. 

“Maybe we can see you again sometime soon,” we volunteered.  “Yes, I’d like that,” Miriam responded.
Today we spent some time with Miriam again, this time in a new hospital in Ixtapaluca. Her mother-in-law did not want a visit from a priest, but rather from a pastor. Mayra and I went, and I visited Carmen in room 127, armed with a Bible and a EvangeCube.

Carmen is dying. An initial operation to take out her bladder made her deteriorated health even worse. It is unlikely that Carmen will leave the hospital alive. She has begun to make preparations for her soon departure. She wants an evangelical service, something simple in Miriam's house, wants to be cremated and her ashes spread under a tree at a particular hacienda.

Miriam came to us, I think, in part out of desperation. Her family already deals with the enormous care-giving  obligations related to her daughter Tashami. She also called us, I suspect, because she believes we can help her navigate through all the ins and outs of a viewing, service and funeral.

I talked to Carmen today, read from John 14 and Psalm 23, talked about how the statistics regarding death pretty consistently hover around 100%. Some of us will die sooner, some later, but we all will stand before God. We talked about the thief on the cross, the one who believed. He could literally do nothing to earn his salvation. But he believed, and Jesus told him they would soon be together in paradise.

Carmen says she understands that, that she believes. I hope, for her sake, that she does. 

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