TODAY as the Taliban tries to subdue Afghanistan through brute force I’d like to tell the story of a Tibetan written by Lee Patton that touched my heart: ‘Several years ago in Seattle, Washington, there lived a 52- year-old Tibetan refugee.
“Tenzin,” diagnosed with lymphoma. He was admitted to the hospital and received his first dose of chemotherapy. But during treatment this usually gentle man became extremely angry and upset. The doctors and nurses were baffled.
Then Tenzin’s wife spoke to the hospital staff: She told them that Tenzin had been held as a political prisoner by the Chinese for 17 years! They killed his first wife and repeatedly tortured and brutalized him throughout his imprisonment.
She told them that the hospital rules and regulations, coupled with the chemotherapy treatments, gave Tenzin horrible flashbacks of what he had suffered at the hands of the Chinese.
“I know you mean to help him,” she said, “but he feels tortured by your treatments. They are causing him to feel hatred inside – just like he felt toward the Chinese. He needs to be able to pray and cleanse his heart.”
So, the doctors discharged Tenzin and asked the hospice team to visit him in his home. ‘I’ says Lee Patton, “was the hospice nurse assigned to his care. ‘So, how can I help you love again?” Lee asked him. He smiled brightly and said, “I need to sit in the downwind from flowers!”
He told Lee Tibetans sit in the downwind so they can be dusted with the new blossoms’ pollen that floats on the spring breeze. They feel this new pollen is strong medicine.
At first, finding enough blossoms seemed a bit daunting. Then, one of his friends suggested that Tenzin visit some of the local flower nurseries.
The following weekend, Tenzin and his wife visited another nursery. The third weekend, they went to yet another nursery. The fourth week, Lee began to get calls from nurseries inviting Tenzin and his wife to come again.
Pretty soon, the nurseries were competing for Tenzin’s visits. People began to know and care about the Tibetan couple.
At the end of the summer, Tenzin returned to his doctor for another CT scan to determine the extent of the spread of the cancer. But the doctor could find no evidence of cancer at all.
He was dumbfounded. Tenzin lifted his finger and said… “I know why the cancer has gone away. It could no longer live in a body that is filled with love.
When I began to feel all the compassion from the hospice people, from the nursery employees, and all those people who wanted to know about me, I started to change inside.
Now, I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to heal in this way. Doctor, please don’t think your medicine is the only cure.
Sometimes a downwind of love can do miracles!” Maybe there’s a lesson here not just for the Taliban but for us as well..!