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Dad had left his lab coat hanging just a hair too high for my sister, Mandy, and I, to reach. At a mere 4 and 5 years of age, we’d always find a way to pull it down, nothing would stop us from slipping into our oversized starch white wardrobes for a little game we called ‘doctor.’

Though we outgrew the games, I continued dreaming of taking care of others in my own lab coat. That day came sooner than I thought. My lab coat was just as untraditional as my degree, I didn’t have either. Instead, as our female funded female missionary coached me through wound care I found myself tending to various wounds in two months.

Every Tuesday morning and Friday, an array of scatter orange, red and green woven chairs covered the Sharpe’s twelve foot by twelve foot concrete porch. They lay awaiting the arrival of ten to twenty wounded men and women each clinic. The wound care porch lay off to the side of a thriving crowd of men and women who’d sit in the sandy yard, screaming and demanding their baby formula, tums, vitamins and other remedies be given to them immediately, all at no cost to themselves.

Lexie2-smallBaseba, a mid-thirties Hausa woman, was one of the softest spoken Hausa I’d known. Upon first site you’d pass her wound. Baseba had smooth maroon skin and neat black braids, complimented by her caramel brown eyes and blue, yellow and orange swirling Hausa pattern. Leaned back in her chair she grasped the edge of skirt. Slightly tugging the right side towards her, she revealed a bare, raw open burn down her entire foot. Two days earlier her children had caused a hot bat of oil to spill over her foot.

Once I’d dressed the wound with what little we had, Laura reminded me to pray for healing. Kneeling at her feet I placed my ‘one-size-fits-all’ glove over her wound, praying in English while Haruna, a Niger believer explained how God heals under the name of Jesus Christ.

140601 Niger, Africa (99)-smallThe following week she returned without her previous limp, I knew immediately the swelling had dropped. She undressed the wound revealing uninfected, newly formed skin. Tears clawed at the edges of my eyes as she admitted gratitude that I’d prayed for her, that my God heals. With prayer, two bandages and a drop of Vaseline Baseba’s foot was nearly healed, only a quarter-sized hole remained open on her entire foot.

Here’s my thought, following that beautiful display of God’s power in her life, how often do we stop at the surface? Looking at Baseba I’d have never thought anything was wrong. However, under greater inspection and time I found what needed fixing, leaving it not entirely up to me to fix, but the true healer, God. People all around us are hurting under the surface, let’s find the problem and show them how God can heal.

Lexie Whitley

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