In recent months I've been so encouraged to watch groups from multiple countries and religious backgrounds work together for the good of the Haitian people. Over and over we saw great cooperation with other medical groups. A beautiful thing took place as we worked together and attempted to offer the patients the very best options available. Sometimes that would mean bringing a patient to Merlin, a UK surgical group. Other times it meant going to the Medishare/Miami Field Hospital to seek out their specialists. Many times we would help by taking the patients from their locations for a few weeks of recovery in order to allow them the space to take surgical cases from Heartline. It just worked. Rarely was there any ego or posturing. Multiple times a week I would stand back and listen to Dr. Jen compliment her colleagues on their work, always thankful for any advice or help they could offer, always willing to return the favor. It felt very special to be a small part of it and to be observing such unusual and inspiring cooperation.
On the flip side I saw a lot of really gross egos doing really gross ego things. There were times when you could just tell you'd picked the wrong time to show up - some giant big-deal doctor would walk up and dismiss you with the flip of his wrist, letting you know that he had no interest in hearing about your patient. He was far too important for the likes of you.
Reading this NewYorkTimes article from earlier this month prompted this post. (Please read it.)
I get a stomach-ache reading that this stuff happens. I probably should not be surprised - but I am.
When helping someone becomes about you - your fame - your notoriety - your glory - your publicity - your ego ... it is time to find a new line of work. I am ticked that anyone would put their own desire to "claim" a person over actually helping the person. I would love the New York Times to do a follow up story on this.
Truly serving people means you lay down your ego. We all struggle to do it at times. I don't think there is a person that has not wanted to be selfish at times or noticed a tendency to put their own agenda first .... but the true servants are the ones that do it quietly, without thanks and without publicity.
There are hundreds upon hundreds of people quietly going about their business serving Haitian people by putting the Haitian person first. They don't have an agenda or anything to gain. These are the true heroes in Haiti. I am praying for them tonight. I am praying for the Dorothy Pearces of the world, the Pat and Melinda Smiths of the world, the Gladys and Henris of the world...and so many others. I pray that they continue to allow the unselfish love of Jesus to shine through them - and be an example to us all.