The End of Suffering

“Kasia, we have another patient. It’s Mabi.”

I already pulled his chart, and he’s lying down out front.”

“What does he have?”

“Malaria. I’ll go draw up some paracetamol. His temperature is 104°.”

As I walked out onto the clinic porch, I instantly recognized eight-year-old Mabi. Not quite a month before, he had been lying on the exact same bench suffering from the same condition.

I sprang into action. Malaria is a disease we see often here, so its treatment has become very familiar. First thing is to get the fever down. I quickly filled a basin of water and began applying wet washcloths to Mabi’s head. One might think this would feel good with such a high fever, but not so. Malaria makes people feel very cold and achy. All they want to do is to curl up in a blanket. As I sponged his head, Mabi rolled over, and I looked into his eyes. I smiled, but received no smile in return. His eyes said it all. They were tired. His eyes should have had a mischievous twinkle and a hopeful gleam, but they had neither. Sadness welled up in my heart. So much suffering for a little boy! Why does he have to go through this time and time again?

Malaria destroys red blood cells, so it makes sense that his eyes looked tired, but I wonder if that tiredness meant something more. Was it the tiredness of combating this disease over and over again? Medicine often helps, but there is no way to fully prevent malaria from recurring.

Because Mabi’s fever was so high, we had to give him a rather painful injection, something he has had to endure many times. He was brave and took it patiently, though tears streamed down his face.

Aren’t we all in this same scenario? This world is not our home. We were never meant to go through all the suffering sin has brought us. Jesus is the only One who can rescue us from the hopelessness of our fallen state. I’m looking forward to the day when Mabi and the rest of us will never suffer again, and we will all be home with our heavenly Father.

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