"And if you SPEND YOURSELVES on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday."

"The Lord will continually guide you. He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."- Isaiah 58:10-11

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Losing Faith Narasha

I’ve had a very hard day today…

I’ve spent a lot of time sifting through pictures and stories and have been attentive to the number of times this young woman, Faith Narasha, has impacted our lives.  It goes way back to one of my first posts here – The Knife – she was the first person in Kenya who genuinely apologized to me for making a mistake.  That was the day she entered my heart. 

My heart soared the day she asked Jesus to be her Savior and even more so because it was our precious Rachel who had the privilege to tell her the Good News for the first time.  To watch friends become sisters in Christ was a mother’s heart treasure.

My heart broke for her the day she sat down next to me in a private conversation on a hill and told me, with tears rolling down her face, that she was pregnant.  Because of her unfruitful search for true love I sat there and cried with her as reality came crashing in on disillusionment.

Together - we rejoiced when her daughter was born, struggled to care for her child, laughed over chai and painted nails, argued over her family, battled over choices, delighted over the intricacies of her beautiful daughter, cried when her mother died, and tried to fight an incurable illness.

Faith died yesterday after a long battle with her sickness.  I’ve been thinking through the many ways she’s impacted our lives and I’ve been crying all day.  I think what makes her death so hard for me is that I’ve never fought so hard for someone like I’ve fought for Faith.  I won’t go into all of the multi-layered details of this battle but it has been a long one mixed with little joy and a lot of pain.  And today, it feels like I’ve lost the battle - the battle for her life, for the opportunity to raise her daughter, and for a hope-filled future.

Over the last seven days as I sat with her in the hospital, I watched her grow increasingly tired and her mind fade.  “I want to go home.  Ninataka kwenda nyumbani.” She said this verbally to me several times in her brief moments of lucidity on Tuesday morning before she was intubated, and a couple of times more with her eyes after.  Those were her last words.

“I’m sorry Faith that we didn’t get everything right and that life was such a struggle.  We fought hard but not hard enough.  Your battle is over. You finally know that you are loved and you are home. ”   That should feel like a win …but today it just doesn’t.