It’s not even 7 a.m. and I have been sitting at a Starbucks in Montreal, working away, having dropped Shane off at the airport really early this morning. He is on his way to Winnipeg to see his family for a few weeks before we take off for our globetrotting adventure.
Before jumping into my workload for the day, I took the time to translate a friend’s post. Her son is sick and recently underwent a bone marrow transplant to kick the disease. Although she speaks great English, she has no time to translate her updates (understandably!) so I’ve been doing it for her, helping keep her extended family and friends in the loop of little Caleb’s health struggles.
I spend most of my days in front of the computer, adding one word after another on a virtual page. I toil over which words to use, whether the sentence structure is grammatically correct and whether I’ve forgotten to translate a concept. I love what I do, but they are words, only words to me. That’s how I make a living. That’s how we can leave Canada and go travelling. In the end, however, they are a story talking about a hotel, a product, a place, a company. They are meant, ultimately, to get people to open up their wallets.
This morning, however, it hit me. This is not a story. Caleb’s struggle is not a made-up tale. I’m writing about a little boy, alive and fighting for his life, with a big smile on his face and a rigorous medical routine. The words on the page are not imagined; they are a mother’s deepest worries and prayers. They are a family’s biggest struggle and a little boy’s every day.
I wish I could do more to help. I feel guilty for leaving my cushy life behind and going to travel the world. Sick people cannot do that. Poor people cannot do that. Refugees cannot do that.
In the midst of all this, Marjolaine, Caleb’s mother, learned she was pregnant for a third time. Today, she heads into surgery for a C-Section that will bring into the world a brand new baby. A new life that will bring the family incredible joy and yet make their already packed schedule even more hectic. I stare at my computer and pray. There is nothing more I can do for Caleb or Marjolaine, or for anyone else for that matter. I hate this feeling.
I am reminded of a verse: “Much is required from those to whom much is given, for their responsibility is greater (Luke 12:48).” I have much, much more than many other people. I will give more. I am thankful, very thankful.