by Sr. Sheila Campbell  MMM   Ireland      19.05.2022

door handle resizedDid you ever wonder why some people seem to cope well with life’s difficulties and other people just can’t cope at all? I was thinking about this the other day when I was thinking about all the people I have cared for as a nurse. There was a young couple I looked after during the early years of the AIDS pandemic in Brazil. The young husband became positive, and then sick,  due to a single use of an injection of heroin when he was a teenager. He met and married a young woman called Cynthia. When I met them, they had their first child and Carlos was beginning to have symptoms. Carlos just gave up on life and died within a few months, but Cynthia was more resilient. She had her baby daughter to care for. She told me once that she hoped to live long enough to see her daughter married. And indeed, she did. Along came anti-retroviral therapy and her health remained steady.

There is something about pain and ill health that brings out a very basic desire for life. Going to the doctor or hospital is like going to the door of recovery. I know I need to take hold of the handle and push it open. The doctor can show me the door, give me the medicines, but ultimately, I have to push the door open myself if I want to step out into good health. They say this about addictions, but I think it applies in a lot of situations.
Some people are not able to give that final “push”.  That could be through past experience, exhaustion or simply too much pain. That is where I think the power of prayer comes in.  It is not a magical thing – I pray and you get better.  It is more of an energy thing – I am lending you some of my energy when you don’t have enough of your own.  When your car breaks down, don’t you call your neighbours and ask them to give you a push?  Well, I believe that we all have an awareness of God’s immense love for us and we can turn to God and just say, “Hey, my friend is in trouble. Let’s get together and give him/her a push”.  You don’t have to have any formal religion for this, belong to any Church or have any set of beliefs.  All we need is the willingness to ask and the desire to help someone push open the door to freedom and health.

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