“Love is the greatest force in the universe. It is the heartbeat of the moral cosmos. He who loves is a participant in the being of God.” Martin Luther King
I checked the time and tried to mentally calculate the line of traffic ahead of me. The hospital on the other end of the phone and city confirmed that visiting hours would end soon.
I would have 30 minutes to spend with my dad. He was in the hospital again with a heart issue.
I was having my own kind of heart problems. I had just spent the last 8 hours and 8 weeks assisting Afghan refugees in settling into their new lives in Houston. As I drove, I thought about the chaos –and the grief–of the day.
The front row seat into the lives of these beautiful people was messing up my heart. In the last two months, I’ve lost count how many incredibly hospitable and warm Afghan people I’ve met, arriving from military bases around the world where they fled when Kabul fell.We ￼have collected food, delivered groceries, enrolled kids in school, put beds together, unpacked welcome kits, picked up new families from the airport, collected couches and delivered tables. We are helping people who helped us.
And we need more help than ever to continue.
I pulled into the hospital parking lot with 28 minutes to spare and made my way to my dad’s room. I was getting a quick update from my dad and telling him about my day with refugees when the cardiologist came in. He introduced himself and mentioned his background in the Middle East.
My dad told the doctor that I had been serving new refugees from his home region. The doctor stopped, turned and said, “Thank you for helping them. These are beautiful people who have been through so much.” It turns out this doctor would end up solving the mystery of the pain in my dad’s heart by performing a surgery no else had thought of.