She's too afraid to know, she's scared
of the truth today.
We sat in the doctor's office and she
She's a thirty-two year old momma who's
given birth to five and raised them without the man who should have
been caring for them all.
In just 3 decades of living, she's seen
too many battlefields where no medals are given for valor and no
purple hearts awarded for bravery and courage. But the first day I
met her the One who made her walked her right into my heart, and I
knew, she was a much loved daughter.
Her name is Carol.
Tall and slim with round, soft eyes, I
look at her and think, if you lived in another country, you'd be
called beautiful. But here, she's just one of the many who have been
wounded and are lost in the sea of dark skinned lovelies trying to
care for their children.
She's sick... very sick.
Her cough would clear the room in more
sterile, clean places. And she hurts each time one comes.
On her throat is a growth, bigger than
it was when I met her, but small enough to cover with a scarf. And
that's what she did in the beginning. Now she feels me as a sister
and doesn't work so hard to hide what is less than perfect.
During my 42 day visit back home in
America, she came to my mind each and every day, and so prayers for
her came quickly each morning. The One who loves her most talked of
After my return to Kitale, I went to
visit her. Two of her beautiful daughters were outside, sitting on
wooden stumps beside ash covered ground. It's their kitchen and
dining room, under an old, scarred fig tree, where they cook and take
ugali and githeri and kenyan tea.
Eyes adjusted to darkness entering her
one room hut. A twin bed, a wooden coffee table, the wooden frame of
an old couch with cushions so old the 4 inch foam had shrunk to one
inch. A big, old purse hung from the corner of her bed holding her
treasures. No dresser or side table or chest of drawer, just that
old purse and 3 bags slid neatly under her one bed. The mud walls had
been smeared smooth and painted white. Now, red dust lay on the
uneven places and it had a mysterious, enchanting sort of look to it
and I thought to myself, “back home”, we work to age our
furniture and weather our bricks and lumber to give it a used,
mysteriously old look. Here, it's real------ oh what a strange world
With eyes adjusted, I saw her
smile and looked into her eyes, and I repented again for all my
selfish ways as she shared of the weeks past while I had been away.
The growth on her throat had swelled
and had temporarily taken her voice away, leaving her with a sore
throat. Then the fever had come. A week later the cough began and the
next week she was too weak to rise from her tiny bed.
Each night her two youngest daughters
curl into the tiny twin bed beside their sick mum, while the oldest
lays on the barely-there-cushioned-rock-hard couch. All together in
this one room with dusty, dirt floors and two tiny window openings.
To open the “window”, you swing the little wooden door open,
there is no glass or even screen. But even in this little, dark room,
there was a goodness found.
Kind greetings were followed by words
that opened up the Heavens into this little dirt room.
She told me how very sick she had been
and how very alone she had felt. How she had looked at her girls and
knew she had no way to stop the death-beast walking towards her door.
How she'd prayed and begged the only One who could save her, and
wondered at why no Savior came. But instead the liar moved in and
hope moved out ---- or so it had seemed.
She had become angry with God. Very
angry. She had railed against him and wept in wails.
She felt fully abandoned and in the end
could no longer even remember the promises she had clung to from His
Then the ladies from our Bible study
had come to visit her on her worst day. They had come with tea and
love, prayers and hope. They had laid their work-worn hands on her
exhausted shoulders and prayed long. And the liar shrank.
We prayed again on this visit, just
four days after the others had prayed, her beautiful daughters joined
The next day, oranges were delivered
and taken. Strengthening the body and letting the mind and heart feel
love flow in those Vitamin C filled juices. She needed a day of
nutrition and Vitamins before even trying to rise from her bed.
By the next morning at 9:00 I found her
dressed and sitting on her bed, she knew I was coming, we were going
to the hospital. We moved slowly through the day as doctors examined
her, gave shots, x-rays and ultrasounds completed, blood-work drawn,
and finally the results.
It was pneumonia, not TB (oh thank you
God!). But still, it was serious.
She has a growth on her thyroid gland,
a cyst, not thought to be cancerous, but it has to go, it must be
Then the doctor spoke privately with
me. Asking me to do what I could to encourage Carol to be tested for
HIV. She had dropped her head when offered the test, fear had been
thick in the air as she nodded and whispered, “Hapana”. (no in
An abusive, unfaithful husband had
abandoned her years ago, she had known it was possible, but she did
not want to meet that unwanted intruder face to face, she knew he
would bring words of death.
Meds were prescribed and given.
She would spend two weeks recovering
and then return to the hospital for surgery to remove the cyst.
Carol was exhausted, helping her to the
Lori-car, we sat and talked inside.
I explained everything to her slowly
and carefully. She had not understood all that had been said. I was
taken back to when my little ones had been sick and we'd gone to the
doctor and we'd get to the car afterwards and i'd tell them, in
children terms, what had just been said in doctor words. She was
understanding now, and her shoulders were beginning to relax.
“You will have this surgery dear
Carol, God has brought you this far. He has heard your prayers and
you will be cared for so you can live and love your girls for many
more days.” She dropped her head and wiped her eyes. “But Carol,
I must ask you to pray long about something.”
We talked about HIV and the truth about
“The only way to fight it is to know
if it is hiding inside.”
Just like the cyst, if we ignore it and
look the other way, it will grow and damage the healthy body parts
around it and eventually what could have been taken care of earlier
will bring an early death if left unchecked.
She said, “i'm just too afraid to
know the truth... if I have it shame will kill me before it does.”
We talked long. Tears laced with words,
and prayers covered it all.
“Carol, God's Word says, 'the Truth
will set you free'. It is the liar, the one who speaks lies to us
that tells you to hide from the Truth -----the Truth of our Father's
love and the truth of every other thing. Truth lives in the light, in
the places where we can see. Lies lurk in the darkness, those places
where we can't see and we're scared of what might be hidden in the
She began to hear.
“On this matter dear Carol, if you
let the liar win, it could kill you. But the Truth will save your
i've let my mind sit with it all ---
since my time with Carol in the car ---
Knowing the Truth saves us ---- but if
the liar wins, it kills us.
It's true in matters of health.
It's true in matters of the soul.
It's true in our marriages, our homes,
our hearts, our minds, our friendships, our work.
In our day to day thoughts ---- the
truth might be painful to hear, but it is the only way to life.
We might be more comfortable to wrap
ourselves in the tattered blanket of familiarity, thinking, we'd
rather hold on to what we have known, even if it is a lie, than lay
it down and try and get comfortable in the scratchy, new, unsoftened
blanket of truth. But the wrap of Truth has no holes, it's complete,
and it can shield us from the hard winds of destruction that come at
the end of the lie.
As i've prayed for Carol, it's settled
so deeply inside, speak the truth in love ... the Truth will set you
free ... surely you (God) desire truth in the inner parts... speak
truth to each other... He will guide you into all truth...
Ephesians 4:15, John 8:32, Psalm 51:6,
Zechariah 8:16, John 16:13
and what happens, really, when we do
not cling to what is true?
“They exchanged the truth of God for
a lie, and worshipped and served created things, rather than the
Creator --- ”
Exchanged the truth for a lie – and
served created things rather than the Creator --- things like
familiarity in what we can see and what we think is the right thing
to do and who is around us (our children perhaps) and what we eat or
where we sleep or … too many things can too silently slide into a
place of importance ---- a place of “worship” in our lives. We
push back and say, no, i'm not worshipping it --- but when it
prevails over the Creator and what HE SAYS --- it has taken His place
of worship in our lives. And He is clear on this point ---- He will
not share His throne.
Oh God helps us understand where we
have worshipped created things rather than You.
God's words here are speaking of the
Truth of our souls, but it is also true for the truth of everything.
Sometimes we realize ----- we do not
know the truth of a matter---- and we are too scared to face the
light that will reveal that truth. (fear from the liar is winning in
Sometimes we don't even know we are
being deceived. We think we are right and all is well. Only the Word
of God will open our eyes to know if we are truly, really, honestly
walking in the light.
If we don't sit with and in His Word
----- we are easily deceived.
And the greatest victory of the enemy
is keeping eyes so accustomed to the darkness, they don't even
realize what they are “seeing” is only shadows and shades of
For Carol, there are medications that
can help her fight the virus. Many who might have died years ago,
have lived long, because of the meds (ARVs) now available. Years ago,
an American president pressed to alot millions of dollars to pay for
ARVs to be made available for FREE to Kenyans unable to pay for them.
IF Carol is positive, she can receive the needed medications for
free, at the district hospital just a mile from her one room home.
(Thank you America!!!)
Fear is the barrier that wants to keep
her in the dark ------ and make her daughters orphans.
God is working.
The lamp of Truth is ready to shine.
What blessed, blessed, blessed kids we
are ----- our Abba wants truth in our lives.
He is the Way, the Truth, and the
Life... (John 14:6)
And the beauty of the Body of Christ
(the children of the Father) came shining through so brightly I
covered my face with my hands and tears rolled down...
Knowing the cost of the surgery was
beyond what we readily had in hand, I sent an email message to over
400 dear ones --- asking for help for Carol.
I prayed over the words, asking the
One, before I hit send to ask the many.
Then I went for a walk with my youngest
son. As the sunset, we talked of his world and while listening
closely to his every word, I also held my asking cup up to the Father
on behalf of the email I knew many would be receiving.
Our walk ended (what a blessed momma I
am to get to walk beside my son), and I went to my email just to
confirm it had actually gone out. And within that short hour, 4
people had already responded... 1 saying they would cover the entire
cost of the surgery... (my heart froze)... and 2 giving half of what
was needed (tears gushed)... and 2 more giving $50 and $75 to be a
part of what God was doing. I hit the floor and thanked the One who
moves the hearts of His children.
Then quickly sent another email to let
everyone know ---- IT WAS DONE!
I sent emails to try and stop others
already trying to give as well (one willing to pay the full amount
needed as well) ---- no more money was needed, but the beautiful
generosity of love was flowing strong. More gifts came, another $15, then $200, then $100, like a strong flowing river the love would not be stopped quickly.
Oh my heart... how beautiful are His kids.
So now ----
Carol's surgery is funded not just with
the amount needed -------
but it is funded for over double of
what is needed!
And I remembered --- there is a verse
about God giving a double portion --- grabbing my Bible, it was
quickly found ----
“Instead of your shame you will
receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in
your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your
land, and everlasting joy will be yours.” Isaiah 61:7
Oh God ---
for the woman who lives on the dirt
floor and sleeps in a tiny bed with children piled on top of her, for
the one who shrinks from the shame that the truth might bring, but is
praying and asking for courage to know, for the dark skinned beauty
you see and love and have your eye on ---- your Holy Word speaks
today just as it did through Isaiah in the 8th century
before your sent your son...
...instead of your shame Carol, you
will receive a double portion...
and instead of disgrace Carol, you will
rejoice in your inheritance... you will receive a double portion in
your land... and Carol, I, God, will give you everlasting joy.
And “i delight greatly in the Lord;
my soul rejoices in my God.”
The One who calls us into the Light of
Truth ----- is the God of a double portion.
|Carol is in front of Maggie and Ray, wearing the black and white wrap (covering the cyst). Beside her is Eve (middle) and Matilda (left) -- this was taken August 22nd after Bible Study, we were headed back home and giving lifts to the ladies. |
Thank you in advance for praying for
Carol --- and thank you to those who shocked us all with your quick,
beautiful response to the need of one who is surely among “the
least of these”.
Oh --- thank you so!
I hope you feel His great smile over
you – it is surely there.
©2014 Donna Taylor/Reaching for the Robe