27 August, 2015 - Steph Gaut
Part 2 of Lucy’s Miracles Day Nepal trip.
Write a blog, they said.
Sure, I replied. That’s easy, I thought. I love writing.
But… now words fail me.
I’m literally speechless. Which for a radio host, is a rare thing.
I’m struggling to find the right words to explain what I am witnessing here in Nepal. I’ll give it a shot, but it’s almost impossible to put pen to paper when it comes to the whirlwind of emotions I’m feeling.
I’ve witnessed a miracle. Infact I’ve witnessed quite a few since I’ve been here. Infact, this whole hospital is nothing short of a miracle. Hundreds of people begin to queue and start the process of receiving their very own miracle. It’s a long day, but everyone is quiet and patient. They are calm. You can tell many are scared, and it’s probably the first time many of these have stepped inside a hospital, but it’s their last hope. They want to see again. They NEED to see again. Being blind in a third world country is … well, it’s unthinkable. They are some of the most forgotten and marginalized people on the planet.
Many have come from all across Nepal and northern India. A man I spoke to travelled 400kms, hoping someone here could help him see again. Hoping.
Another father I spoke to cradled his ten month old daughter in his lap. Her name was Charisma. Her eye started turning white a month ago. She became blind very quickly. You can tell she is his pride and joy. He travelled 26 hours with her. He told me he would have travelled as far as he had to, to get help. He was scared. His wife was scared. Trusting your little baby to strangers, having her whisked away into an operating theatre, placed under anesthetic, watching her fall asleep under the bright lights of a surgeons knife, I understood their fear. That is universal. These were simple villagers who didn’t understand the process. All they knew was that if they came to this place, then maybe, just maybe their baby would be able to see again.
I have a daughter who is about 8 weeks older than their baby. My little girl loves staring up at me and grabbing my face. She loves watching birds in the garden. She chases after our dog squealing with glee. When I pull her favourite snack from the cupboard and she sees in it my hands, she shouts and claps. She can see. I think about this little girl lying in the bed in front of me. She can’t see anything. She can’t see her mummy or daddy. She can’t see a sunset. She can’t squeal when a duck runs infront of her, or clap when a baby goat skips past. She’s trapped in darkness. If she remained blind, her life would be very dark indeed. Housebound, and unable to help. Unable to earn money. Unable to be married.
And the crazy thing is, a 12 minute operation that costs $32 can fix her almost instantly. I would pay $32 for my daughter to see. I would pay $32,000 for my daughter to see. In fact, I would pay whatever it took. These people have nothing. All they have is hope. Hope that if they travel 26 hours, that someone here will help them. Hope that their little daughter will see again. Hope that someone, somewhere in the world has said yes, I care about your daughter. I care about her future. I care enough to give $32 so she can see again.
$32? A movie ticket and popcorn to us. A meal out. A new top. A good book. A few cups of coffee. Things we take for granted. Yet, $32 to these people is equivalent to giving them the world. Giving them their lives back. Giving them a future. Giving them hope.
I stand in the operating theatre and watch the operation. It’s so quick. The surgeons move quickly. There are 8 beds in the theatre I am in. It’s like a well oiled machine. As quickly as they move in, they move out. It’s calm. It’s quiet.
I am overwhelmed. It’s hot. I am emotional. I am watching these people’s lives be changed in the blink of an eye. I become lightheaded and I almost faint. I walk outside, sit down and place my head in my hands. I feel nauseous. I’m not sure if it’s the operation that’s making me feel sick, or that fact that my western life is so comfortable, and so unaffected by these poor people on the other side of the planet, that it hits me hard. I feel guilty. For wasting money. For the times I have frittered money away. I feel angry that in this day and age, we are still so divided across the world. The haves and the have nots. I start to understand, really understand, why Jesus spoke mostly about loving the poor. Why He got it. Why He wants US to get it. And do something. Sometimes I am saddened that Christians seem to be known for the things they are against, as opposed the things they are for. This is something we should be for. CBM is for it. Seeing the work of CBM here is like watching the hands and feet of Jesus. They are amazing.
I make myself go back inside the operating theatre. I stare at the people on the tables, making myself memorise their faces. So I don’t forget. So I always remember the miracles taking place here on the other side of the world. So I remember how blessed I am. And how I should do everything in my power to help these people.
Little Charisma, the tenth month old, had a successful operation. I saw her afterwards but she was still knocked out. Lying in her grandmothers arms. This tiny child the same age as my daughter but half the size. They were waiting for her to wake up. They looked worried. I wanted to throw my arms around them all and tell them it would be ok, but it’s not appropriate. I get to go see her again in a few hours. It’s been a day since her operation and her patch will come off. I can’t wait to see the joy on her face when she realizes she can see.
All it took was 12 minutes, $32 and she will be able to see.
She will be able to see her mummy. Her daddy. The Moon. The stars. A sunrise and a sunset. Her whole life is ahead of her now.
And all because someone, a million miles away, sitting in their comfortable house, somewhere in suburban Australia…. decided to make a miracle happen. They gave a small amount. It didn’t even hurt them. They didn’t even notice the money gone. But it changed someone’s whole life forever.
You won’t get to meet Charisma. You won’t get to see her beautiful baby smile. You won’t see the relief on the face of her parents. You won’t hear them say thankyou or see their tears.
But I saw it. So on behalf of Charisma, and her parents… thank you.
Thank you thank you thank you.
You have performed a miracle.