I wish I only had good things to write. I wish that all surgeries were a success. I wish this was heaven where death and sickness do not exist. But that is not reality.
Meet Abd El Aziz Saleh (or Saleh for short).
I first met this adorable little boy on Tuesday. He is a sweet child that suffered from down syndrome. His mother is a very caring woman who adored her little boy. Yesterday, I visited them in the ICU of the hospital. Saleh had just completed his surgery on Thursday, but was awake and in full recovery mode. The doctors were attentive, but did not seem at all stressed about his condition. His loving mother, however, was working diligently to convince the baby to drink a bottle of milk. In typical kid form, he was all but cooperative. Who can think of eating when there are a million tubes and wires all around distracting you?
This morning, as I walked downstairs, fully enjoying a restful Shabbat, I got the news. Saleh has died.
This is only the second child that has passed during my time here and the first I have actually known well. My heart breaks for his mother who will remain at the hospital until her son's body can be transported back to Gaza tomorrow.
Yesterday, when we were at the hospital, my coworker felt strongly compelled to pray for Saleh's mother to have comfort. We did not fully understand why at the time. She also felt the need to pray that the mother would see Jesus in a dream or vision and that through this she would learn about him. We will probably not know until heaven if this prayer also comes true. But as we wept and prayed today, I saw Jesus, holding little Saleh in one arm, and reaching out his other hand to this mother who was bent over weeping. He has not abandoned them.
Keep this family in your prayers. I pray that one day they will be able to say, "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" (1 Corinthians 13:55) I pray that through this sad time they may find eternal life.