“Please, I beg you, just let her see the doctor for five minutes. Just look at her! She needs to be seen”, the mother pointed to her child and pleaded with me as I cleared the table that had registered more than 150 handicaps, sick children and newcomers from the village. It was already past five, the time we said we would close. I looked at the woman, then at the child, and then once more at the woman who’d brought three other mothers with her. I was told to be strict, to tell everyone that 5 o’clock was the final call; but I just couldn’t.
She pleaded with me and begged me and looked at me with hopeful eyes, and I went to our doctors and I spoke to them, and they took all the women and their children. On the way out, her eyes danced as she thanked me, and all of them left that clinic with a smile; a mile wide.
The doctors came from overseas to Kyrgyzstan to treat patients with disabilities and those who have very little access to medicine. People from remote places came to the cities and villages, and they flooded the buildings we occupied, arguing about who came first and who would be seen first. On the way out, as they got their medicine, some of them asked how much they owe us, and when we told them it was free, their smiles grew larger.
And as I sat and translated and listened, my heart grew heavier and heavier with each story. The wrong dose of medicine, the harmful antibiotics, the health and the lives and the futures of the people that had been stripped away from them in a matter of minutes. The heartbreaking results of corruption and unrighteousness sat before us, and we listened and we cried and we talked to them, offering them our attention and our care. And there wasn’t much that we could do, but we saw their smiles and their thankful hearts as they left those clinics with free medicine and professional advice, and we prayed that they’d never forget what they felt with us.
We prayed that they’d seen Christ in us.
And I thought back to the mother who pleaded with me. She begged and she asked and she looked on me with hope, and I stopped what I was doing because I saw something in her. I saw myself in her.
I saw the way that I kept coming to the Doctor. He’d treat me and I’d smile and run back to what I was doing, until I got another scab. Until it hurt and I couldn’t hold it any longer, and I’d run back and beg Him again, plead with Him to heal me and restore me. And He would, again and again and again. He’d gently take me and hold me, gather me in His arms and cry with me, and then give peace to my soul as I let His healing touch work in my heart.
The day after that, we closed at five. There were people waiting, and patients who’d come too late, but we still closed. We had to drive a long way back, and we just couldn’t take them all. And I looked at their eyes and I saw their disappointment, and my heart was heavy, because I knew that we’d never have time to treat them all.
But God, He’s different than us. He is patient and kind and doesn’t tire the way we do. He doesn’t rush to do the next thing when people line up to see Him. We come to Him, and He accepts us. We ask, and He treats us.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
“…It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17
He is a doctor, the Doctor.
A Doctor like no other.