I had this blog post in mind a while ago, but I had not gotten around to writing it, and now it strikes me as the perfect Easter post:
Last month, I helped take care of a young woman, Clementine, who had a serious heart problem, a leaky valve that could only be helped by surgery. Fortunately for her, Team Heart, the Boston based cardiac surgery team screened her and accepted her for surgery in Kigali, though she was last on the list. Several days before she was supposed to receive her surgery, someone called her and said that in fact she wouldn’t be operated on. She came to see me the next day, hoping against hope that it wasn’t true. I called someone, who called someone else, and they confirmed that she was not on the operating list. When I told her, she couldn’t hold back her tears. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, as it says in Proverbs 13:12. Her hopes for a new life were dashed. I almost couldn’t hold back my own tears, especially as I know only too well the fate of these young patients with severe heart disease who don’t receive surgery. I did pray together with her, for God’s protection and that next year when the team came, she would get her needed operation.
Inexplicably, a few days later, I got an email that she actually was on the list-she had the green light. I was delighted to call her and give her the good news. This time, she couldn’t hold back her smiles. We agreed that “Imana ni nziza.” God is good. Her mourning was turned into joy.
I suppose that’s the Easter message-the darkness of disappointment, sickness, betrayal, and even death is not the final word. The mourning of Jesus’ followers on Good Friday was turned to joy on Easter Sunday. May you find also that Easter joy, through Christ who gave us the victory on the cross.