Saturday, October 5, 2019

Quietly extraordinary

week 29 (waitress)

Over breakfast coffee, I talked to my colleagues and friends, Berbi and Marvin, about generation gaps in medicine, sentiments about fellowship training, funny experiences in the clinics, and life in general. I love these conversations. I liken them to well-written systematic reviews because they clarify the meaning of certain life events that have happened during the past week or month, amplify the important lessons in those time periods, and offer future directions.

We talked about our desire to live simple, quiet lives—doing God's work in our little corner of the world. "And maybe that's not such a bad thing," we concluded. Some people are destined to change the world and rally others to do the same. Others are called to carry on the good work quietly: a doctor in his clinic, a mechanic in his shop, a student in his class. It is a meaningful life.

And then I came across a beautiful tribute to a man who worked with medical missionaries in Bundibugyo. I don't know Drs. Scott and Jennifer Mhyers personally, but their blog has become one of my favorite go-to's in the internet. I am always refreshed, encouraged, and moved by their testimony. The man's name was Yosefu Mutabazi.

He was never in a hurry, never demanding, patiently deliberate, dedicated to Scripture and truth and mercy. Perhaps because he began as an outsider he was sympathetic to our neediness. After knowing him for more than two decades we found ourselves entrusting our newest missionaries into his care. I don't think any of us imagined Bundibugyo without him.

This brought to my memory the lesson we had this week in my Bible study and prayer group (Pilgrims) on arrogance (1 Corinthians 13:4–7).

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Yosefu Mutabazi, based on the Mhyers's account, wasn't full of himself, did not consider himself important, but cared for the needs of others. He lived a "quietly extraordinary" life, doing God's work in his little corner of the world.

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Photo above was taken at Midtown Diner in 2011. It remains one of my favorite breakfast places in Manila.

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