A Reason to Cry
My glasses slid down my sweaty face as I bent over the little girl in the heat of the late afternoon sun. I tried to prepare her for the pain but I didn’t think she understood. Are there ever words to adequately prepare a child for this?
She shook as I cut the oil scorched skin away from her leg. A mass of children crowded around to watch. She cried. Of course she cried. Two onlooking moms scolded her and told her to be quiet. I confessed that if it were me, I’d cry too. They laughed. “Let her cry,” I said.
Sheets of grey skin peeled off like a banana. Slowly, carefully I worked as David read from the New Testament. It took an hour to wash away the toothpaste and motor oil balm someone had applied, cut away all the dead skin, and wrap her leg and foot with medicated gauze.
I’ll visit her every few days to change her dressings, check for infection, and pray for her. It will take weeks for her leg to regenerate healthy, new skin. She may fear white people for a long time, but after all the cutting and peeling, wrapping and praying, God-willing, her leg will look perfectly normal.