Friday, December 22, 2006

"Madame Richard, Madame Richard, loan me your wheelbarrow," a voice demands. I look out my kitchen window (what, not even a "please" this morning?) I'm guiltily glad, since she was so rude, to tell her someone else is using the wheelbarrow today. A minute or two later, I hear the same voice asking Keith, who is out on the front gallery, to let her use the wheelbarrow. "Your Mama is lying to me; she just doesn't want me to use your wheelbarrow today," she tells him. My indignation rises, as Keith tries to persuade her of the truth; soon she marches off, unconvinced and I continue to fume....

"They use our wheelbarrow all the time," I think. "How dare they accuse me of lying the one time it's not available. The next time she comes, I'm going to have a sermon for her....."

And then I hear a Voice saying, "Are you doing it for her, or for you, or for Me?"

He comes banging on our gate very early; we're not even out of bed yet. "Some cream for a burn," is his request. Keith, our first aid guy, goes to see, while I start breakfast. I listen with half an ear while I mix up pancake batter, and soon Keith is back in the kitchen, frustration boiling over. "Mom, you have to come see this--he put GAS on his burn 'to make it feel better'; it's a mess, and he won't let me bandage it!" I sigh, and grudgingly leave my breakfast preparations--we're going to be running late all day, and I hate that. The burn IS a mess (he did it on a motorcycle muffler), infected, oozing, and needs to be thoroughly cleaned up, but first we have to convince him. He doesn't want it to hurt; we need to put the cream over all that mess, he tells us, and he'll go home. We talk and talk; finally, exasperated, I tell him either he does it my way, or he can go home without help. Rich shows up and offers to get his machete and help with the amputation this guy will be needing in a few weeks if he doesn't accept treatment (drama is big in this country). Finally, after a lot of time and energy has been wasted, in my opinion, he grudgingly agrees, and we go to work. We soak the leg in mild salt water for awhile, and do a lot of careful pulling away of dead skin, put on the begged-for burn cream, bandage him up and send him on his way with instructions to come on the morrow, but not quite so early. I sigh again; I already know that request was vain. Come he does, every morning before we get up, and calls and bangs on the gate until we show up, bleary-eyed. Now that we've convinced him, he's become the doctor. "Look, you missed that spot. Put more of the cream on; that's not enough. More tape; this is not good." And I fume and sputter to myself and to my family; but the crowning moment is the day I tell him the burn no longer needs to be covered. He is aghast. "I can't walk home like this. It will get dirty!" I override all his objections, give him a little burn cream to keep the burn moist for a few more days, and send him on his way.

"He didn't even say thank you," I mutter to myself as I gather up the used bandages one last time, and march back up the stairs to our living quarters to put away the first aid kit once again.

And again I hear the Voice, "Did you do it for him, or for you, or for Me?"


Beth Yoder said...

Merry Christmas!!!!!! Have a wonderful day

Kent & Cynthia said...

Nice way to keep in touch!
Have a great Holiday Season!