First or all, let me say I don’t really believe in Karma. Well not the whole eastern religious, second life, return as a snake or a king, kind of thing. But I do believe that to some extent, what goes around comes around. The way you treat people is a reflection of yourself and your values. Showering love on someone and being loved in return is definitely no bad thing! I have coined it “LOVE KARMA”
The Christian concept of reaping what you sow from Galatians 6:7 sort of talks about the same thing.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.
A man reaps what he sows.
Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction;
whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
This last two weeks, I have really felt overwhelmed with love karma. I spent several days with Ramatou and her family, visiting the hospitals, getting the actual surgery done and then follow up appointments. When I saw Ramatou wheeled out of the operating room and across the courtyard into the patient wing, I had this strange sense of strong emotion sweep over me and I got all choked up. I felt so grateful. I was so excited for her new lease on life- pain free! I hope to see her grow and be happy and walk freely and run. When she awoke from her anaesthetic she asked for me. I went into the wing (it wasn’t yet visiting hours but I was lurking around anyway) and came over to her. She was groggy. She grabbed my hand and pulled me in close to talk to me. Her first words were not poetic, they weren’t deep heart touching words or anything. She said “ Chantelle- I want a banana. Or an Apple!” and she said it with such clear longing and force that it made me smile. Then she said “Or maybe a mango, or some fruit juice – I am sooo hungry Chantelle!” I asked the nurse if she could eat yet and was told the lunch meal was about 30 minutes away and she would have to wait for that. I sat on the edge of the bed and held her hand and chatted with her and her mom while we waited. Once she dozed and her head faced her mom and suddenly she said to her Mom- “Where is Chantelle????” Her Mom told her I was right there and she moved her head and saw me sitting on the other side and gave me this big smile and squeezed my hand. She was so funny and candid for the next few hours as we ate and then waited to be released. Her Mom kept ssshing her for being so blunt and direct with me (which did not bother me one iota but her mom would have seen as her being rude to me) and we just laughed. I told her Mom it was just the medication talking. We joked that today she was crazy, but tomorrow she would be back to normal Ramatou. At her insistence, I promised to buy a bag of mangoes on the way home to quench her mango craving.
When we arrived back at her house, a crowd of people came running to welcome her back. They gathered around her and helped her onto a padded mat on the ground. Of course she asked right away for a mango. They will take good care of her for the next week while she heals and doesn’t do any major lifting or running or anything. The incision is only 1.5 inches long, but she still needs to be careful. A few of the older women came over to talk to me. I love the old women here who have seen so many things in their lives. Their folds of weathered skin and sunken eyes tell the story of hard times and their nomadic lifestyle. One of the old women blessed me. I mean actually blessed me. She kissed her hand and then touched it to my forehead, all the while asking for her Allah’s blessing on me and my life. She did this several times in a row and it was all I could do to keep tears from rolling down my cheeks. Everything I had given to Ramatou she gave me right back in that love, that kiss on my forehead and her blessing. Love Karma.
I asked Paul when I got home if it was wrong to love the love in return. I don’t do it for the return love and often here in this country our love can be met with spits in the face, but we keep on loving anyways. But those times when our love is returned with love, my heart is glad. I told Paul, it might seem crazy, but maybe I would do this job forever just for that love. I don`t need accolades, recognition or awards, I can live on those little bits of love karma alone. So yeah….maybe that sounds a little bit crazy .
It was another day that I was reminded that I am so thankful to be in this place, at this time, doing this work, to be God’s hand to her. Let’s make it clear- I am just the tool. We don’t celebrate a hammer in the Master’s hand, we celebrate and are thankful to the Master himself. Let me tell you, I am one happy hammer!
The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend. I have no wealth to bestow on him. If he knows that I am happy in loving him, he will want no other reward. Is not friendship divine in this?” -Henry David Thoreau
If this is what love karma is…bring it on!
Ramatou back at this school Wednesday- pain free!!