613 pains: 1 through 5

  1. Pain of hitting your thumb with a hammer.
  2. Pain of stubbing your toe in front of someone you have a crush on.
  3. Pain of hurting your back lifting a heavy object that you could have lifted with no problems just 10 years ago.
  4. Pain of spilling McDonald’s coffee on your hand.
  5. Pain of jamming something sharp under your fingernail.

Once a year I spend a week in Guatemala with Surgicorps, a group of people who provide free surgery for people who have nowhere else to turn.  We give up a week of vacation and buy our own plane tickets, and the surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, and therapists in our group give away their very valuable professional services to people who they will never see again and who in most cases don’t even share a language in which to say “thank you.”  Please consider supporting our work with a donation.  $250 pays the complete costs of surgery for one patient, $100 pays for four surgical packs, and $10 pays for all of the pain medications that we will hand out this week.  If you enjoy these posts, please consider making a donation, no matter how small–your money will go a long way here in Guatemala.

The “613 pains” idea comes from the novel Everything is illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer, and its “613 sadnesses.”  The book tells the story of a young man who goes back to the Ukraine to find the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis; 613 is a special number in Judaism, being the number of commandments in the Bible.  The photograph is taken from the Surgicorps Facebook page.  Hey–have I hit you up for a donation yet?


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