“Have we begun to walk the practical path in grace? Do we know anything about the practice of pain? Watch what the Bible has to say about suffering, and you will find the great characteristic of the life of a child of God is the power to suffer, and through that suffering the natural is transformed into the spiritual." -Oswald ChambersI cannot remember Auntie without thinking about my favorite thing at her house: her water. She would take water which was probably from a spring somewhere in her backyard, put it in old Rum bottles, and allow it to become ice cold in the door of her refrigerator. It was easily the best water I’ve ever tasted… if you don’t believe me, ask Daniel.
But even more refreshing than the water was listening to someone who had seen and experienced so much throughout her life with unwavering strength and faith. Auntie had endured so much pain, suffering, and aloe juice in her life, yet did not become calloused or ungrateful. Instead, she became kind and selfless.
By 2005, both my grandmothers had passed away. They left a void that Auntie happily filled. She provided plenty of love, wisdom, laughs, and Turkish coffee. She helped put things into perspective. Medical education is a breeding ground of selfishness and pride; we study to get better grades than our classmates in order to attain superior residencies. I was always challenged by how Auntie had time to put the needs of others before her own; it changed how I studied. It motivated me to help others learn instead of focusing only on myself. For a few hours the week before each exam, I tried to do what Auntie has done her whole life.
Because of Auntie, I have tasted the most refreshing water on earth. Yet no matter how much I drank, I was left wanting more. Jesus tells us that that “whosoever drinks of the water I give shall never thirst.” Auntie personally knew what that verse meant. She had joy and hope even in the bleakest situations. She kept her sense of humor and faced adversity with grace. She knew that in our weaknesses, He is strong. In the circus of everyday life, I find myself distracted by the wants and needs of my own selfish pursuits. My prayer is that one day I may be like Auntie—content with all things, yet only satisfied by the living water.
Note: One of my Mom's greatnephews, Souhail Karram, a med student, sent this to be read at her funeral almost a year ago.
Thank you, Souhail.
May you always be satisfied by (and offer others) that living water.