All I know is, her name is Eva Togbah. On September 23, she was sick. Observers would know it right away; she couldn’t hide a single, long trickle of blood running out of her mouth. Sitting in a car outside the Doctors Without Borders Ebola Treatment Center in Monrovia, Liberia, her young yet worn face looking into the distance, she became an unforgettable image. Fifteen days later, her photo appeared in my morning paper. But the newspaper article was about thousands of affected people. So of course, the details of her care, her suffering, her relationships with loved ones, what became of her ultimately – all of these are omitted. Editors must fit text into limited space, right? Or is it that readers have short attention spans and no one’s really asking about one woman named Eva? In a world of billions….
I’m quick to anger because I don’t know whether Eva survived this horrible virus, but then I stop to consider that I am convicted as well. Her face cries out silently for help. How many times have I seen her face as I go about my weekly routine? The people I meet on a daily basis might not have Ebola, but they may suffer, many in unspeakable ways. Right here and now I can wait to hear the whisper, about where to listen longer, share a smile, give encouragement, or simply minister by being fully present. Lord, have mercy on me and show me your way to love.