Friday, March 24, 2017


It was late afternoon. My exam completed, I returned to the hospital waiting room to ask for someone to wheel my chair down to the lobby where I would call a taxi to take me home.

All the staff were gone. The cleaning man rolled his cart along the far hall. The chairs, usually stuffed full of anxious patients, were all vacant.

But I heard a sob. I looked again. One chair down the hall was occupied.

One soul weeping alone as twilight approached. I hesitated to approach. My own mind overloaded with my own worries, could I bear to hear anyone else's? Would she want to talk to a stranger?

Clearly a Muslim woman. Almost all covered up. But her soft sobs drew me. I approached.

I won't tell you much, only what is most important and most shocking.

She moved her shawl to let me see. She was covered in bruises - her cheek, her arms. even her legs. This was not the result of blood tests. This was the love of her Muslim husband for his God.

She has cancer. He says it is her fault. He is beating her to rid her soul of evil because she is possessed by a "Jin." - an evil spirit that she has invited to possess her. He says her cancer is caused by the Jin.

Why doesn't she leave him? Why doesn't she ask for help?

"It is the will of Allah."

And there was nothing I could do. Nothing anyone could do to help her.

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