So it’s #GivingTuesday–yay! There are so many nonprofits out there I would love to speak about and I have so many angels in my life that do incredible nonprofit work that I could highlight, but this year I am going to focus on a bit of an outlier to my personal life, CURE, Intl. It is no surprise to many of you that keep up with my blog that 2018/2019 was full of health issues for me. I spent A LOT, I mean A LOT of time in hospitals going through chemo, getting a hysterectomy and being diagnosed with a brain and heart condition. And something that calls to my heart about CURE is that they meet children where they are and they give them the valuable tool of faith to heal from their serious diseases. These two points were, and still are, super critical to me when it comes to healing; being met where I’m at and having my faith in God.
Sterile. White. Strong chemical smell. Fluorescent lights that blind you. A cold sheet they try to call a blanket. A pillow that is thinner than the sheet. Needles. Blood. Metallic taste in mouth. Dizziness from drugs. Anxiousness from drugs.
If you have never been a patient in the hospital, the above description is about as close as I can come. Now, I am sure that bothers some of you just reading it right now at your desk, or on your phone, but imagine feeling ALL of those things while feeling like you were about to die. So on top of the sterile atmosphere, you have a throbbing headache, sweat dripping down your entire body from your fever, vision leaving your left eye due to your swollen brain, palpitations and so on and so on. Then, it really sucks.
Now, imagine you are a small child in a third world country. Your parents aren’t near you. You don’t understand the language of the doctors. You’re young. You’ve never seen needles like this before.
Fear is one of the first emotions that comes to mind for me. Fear is often caused by a lack of understanding, and there is no way a child could understand what is going on when they are diagnosed with something severe in this environment.
So picture all of this, and then being transported to a hospital where the walls aren’t that sterile white. Where your doctor smiles and spends enough time learning about you to understand what is going on. Imagine warm blankets, activities to keep you busy while you’re there so you don’t have to stare at the walls. Now, here’s the real doozy, imagine being introduced to God, to Jesus as part of your healing team.
I am sure I turned a few of you off right then and there, but I am also sure a few of you can resonate with how effective faith and belief is in times of trauma and tragedy. The worst, absolute WORST, hospital experience I ever had was when I was living in NYC. I had no family around and took a cab to the ER at Columbia because I didn’t want my new friends to know how sick I really was. I spent nine, NINE hours on what cannot even be called a bed, with no blanket, no sheet, and a flimsy hospital gown on. I kept complaining that I was cold and needed a blanket, and no one EVER brought me a blanket the entire time I was there. They also decided to do some awesome lumbar puncture testing so I couldn’t move off of one of my sides for most of the nine hours. I just had to stare at the wall. I prayed SO HARD that night, over and over again. Mostly for a blanket, but also for the stabbing pain in my head to just stop for one mere second. I imagined being next to a fireplace, being in a hot tub, anything to induce warmth in my body. And then I saw it. The one tile I could see from that position which was a hand painting of the silhouette of two elephants at sunset. My sister had just passed away and her favorite animal in the entire world was an elephant. I smiled. My discomfort dissipated as I felt her there with me, and I knew God had brought her there.
Medicine, of course, cures, but so does faith. Faith has the power to calm, to relieve, to provide strength. Faith can do a thousand things that medicine just can’t live up to. As we get further into the 21st century, more and more research is proving that a positive attitude and belief in, well, anything, miraculously heals. It keeps people going.
So here are these people in suffering countries not only offering medical care, but also offering something to believe in for these children to hang on tightly to as they come to the brink of death. And sometimes faith is all you need when you get to that brink, believe me. I believe in God, I believe in miracles and I believe in the incredible work that CURE, Intl. is doing in this world on behalf of Christianity.
So, if you have any inkling at all to continue to donate on this #GivingTuesday, I hope you will consider this authentic organization changing the lives of children around the world. You can donate here.
<3 Marji J. Sherman