Last week, I went over to the local orphanage with a group of nursing students to sing some songs and do some crafts. I was not expecting to be inspired… but sometimes that happens when you least expect it.
The baby-lover that I am, I found myself in the nursery. I am picking up all of these little nuggets, playing a little, having a great time. But here in this corner is one baby, Sonia. She has clubbed feet, crossed eyes, and is developmentally delayed: she probably wound up in the orphanage because her parents could not care for a disabled child. On top of all of this, she has a nasty rash coming down her face and neck and a lip covered in boogers. It was vile and infected. I see one of the nursing students go and get a first aid kit. She scoops up the baby and spends the next hour giving her a bath, talking to her, treating the infected rash, cleaning out her ears and nose, and reporting the situation to the orphanage staff so the baby can get antibiotics and further care.
In the past year as I have applied to medical school, I have written at least 20 essays on the kind of doctor that I want to be: skilled, knowledgeable, culturally sensitive, creative, innovative. I have written blog posts about love and service and care. But here it all was in one young nurse, taking the time to quietly and unassumingly care for a sick little baby.
'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' Matthew 25:40