Thursday, March 10, 2011

Jonathan on thankfulness

Today was a long day in the clinic but it was so rewarding. I had the opportunity to shadow the doctors and work in the prayer station. Both of these were amazing experiences. The chance to shadow a doctor opened the window to grow leaps and bounds professionally. Interacting with patients was one of my favorite parts of the day.
The prayer station was one of the most beautiful things I have ever been a part of. After the doctor finished the examination, the translator would ask the patients if they would like to read a sample prayer aloud or if they would like to offer their own prayer. Many chose to pray on their own and while I don’t know much Spanish the common theme in most every prayer was the word “gracias,” “thank you.” It is hard to believe how many times they gave thanks during prayer. It made me think how often we as a society use prayer when something is wrong or not going as we planned in our lives. Satchel Paige once said, “Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.” This truly envelops our societal view on prayer as a tool only for forgiveness or intercession. We never take enough time to offer up prayers of thanksgiving for what we have. The people here have so little but so much more than I will ever have at the same time. Yes, they have less monetary possessions but the people of Guatemala are so happy for everything that they own. The spirit of the Guatemalan is so resilient and beautiful.
Those patients that would choose to read the prayer would read in Spanish while I read the same prayer in English. When this happened for the first time I got chills. For that moment, language barrier aside, the patient and I were connected through the common language of prayer which was remarkable. This was one of the best experiences ever. It was unbelievable to see how universal prayer is.
This is such a remarkable experience and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. As patients come in and out of the clinic each day they always express their immense thanks. They do not realize that they have given me so much more than I can ever give them. I feel it is our duty to serve these people because only by the grace of God were we born into our society and culture.

No comments: