Wrestling to Find Purpose

One of the best parts of this journey is being challenged to think about my life and how I want to live. hopeI know I’m blessed. Blessed to be in this position. Blessed to grow up in the comforts of life in America. But now what? To go on living my life normally as if all the stories I’ve heard and the lessons I’ve learned don’t exist would be a lie. Living in a world of excess just doesn’t seem right when I’ve been exposed to a world of need.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matthew 25:35-36

My search for God’s will and purpose for my life came to a striking and harsh reality last Friday morning. I walked into a room with Dr. Watson to see a middle-age male refugee for the first exam of the day. The man had been to Siloam many times over the past 6 months because of constant excruciating headaches and leg and arm pain. The problem was that the providers could not find anything wrong. They had him try many different medications and even sent him to a neurologist, but physically everything seemed normal.

Dr. Watson began asking him about his life. At the previous visit, he had mentioned that he had a fear of losing his job. Now, he told us that he lost that job. He worries about his family, all of whom are in Burma including his wife. He sometimes has thoughts of ending his life because he doesn’t want to live with this constant pain and doesn’t believe he has a purpose.

Sitting next to this man, I could see the sadness in his eyes. I could feel the desperateness this man exuded. I had a glimpse into the bare rawness of this human soul. The contrast was striking. I was looking for a purpose for my future. He was looking for a purpose to have a future. I knew then that no human words would give this man a will to live. And so I prayed. Prayed that the God that first breathed life into this man would breathe a life of hope, love, and purpose in him again.

Melissa Puntkattalee - CHI 2013 participantJane is a participant in Siloam’s Community Health Immersion.

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