Today I had the opportunity to escort a refugee mother and daughter to the clinic for their initial lab work visit. When a refugee arrives in America, they must first go to the doctor to have blood, urine and stool samples taken, a TB scan test and then a follow-up visit within 48-72 hours to have the TB test read and to receive a full physical.
Today wasn't an ordinary visit.
First, it was odd that it was only a mother and a daughter. We are accustomed to large families from this people group.
Second, the daughter was a paraplegic. When fleeing their homeland, she was shot and the wounds left her paralyzed from the waist down. Her widowed mother now takes care of her. They had a medical escort to the US, but they were greeted by a new home that is not handicapped accessible. As a Westerner this of course feels like a great injustice, and I hope that she and her mother will soon be transferred to more appropriate accommodations.
Because she is sedentary, she is also overweight, and it proved to be a new challenge to get her into my car. Throwing caution into the wind, I stepped in and put my arms under her arms, lifting the majority of her body weight into the front seat of my Buick Century, as her mother guided her legs into the vehicle. Without much forethought, we got her into the car without dropping her; although, at one point, I wasn't sure if we'd make it.
After returning home from the clinic and repeating this procedure once more, I was thankful to be a part of helping this young girl, who is living a very different existence than I. She is dependent on others in ways that I can't imagine. She recognizes her helplessness in a very tangible manner that exposes the ugliness of my own soul. How independent and selfish I am! I did not create myself; naked I came into the world and naked I will return, yet I don't like to admit my helplessness.
I sat back down in my car, and this song was playing:
"Only You Have Come", 100 Portraits of Waterdeep
Only you have come to find me
Only you have come to pull me out
Only you have come to save me
Only you have come to wrap your arms around me
I sat silently and reflected on the events of the morning. Me wrapping my arms around this girl, hoisting her from her wheelchair and into my car and back again. I thought about His arms. His arms that have saved me, continue to save me and will save me. I need His arms. And then I thought about the passage from John's gospel:
"I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except...with My arms."