Beautiful: A Volunteer's Story

April 2015 Newsletter

April 2015 Newsletter



“When the chaplain spoke of pain, I saw beauty.”

It was early in the morning at Mercy Hospital in Calcutta.  Barbra, a Calcutta Mercy volunteer, listened in on the staff devotional as the chaplain began a detailed description of the wounds Jesus endured at the cross.  The Scriptures say he was marred beyond human semblance. There was no beauty in his face, and his friends and family could hardly recognize him.  “But to those who knew the truth about Jesus and the meaning behind His wounds, his place there on the cross would have been the most beautiful sight,” the chaplain advocated.  Behold, this was the Son of God.  In his pain, we see compassion and love.  At the cross, we see redemption.

The following day, Barbra was invited to watch a cleft palate surgery.  Dressed head to toe in mask and scrubs, nurses led her into the Operating Theatre where a six-month-old girl with a gaping cleft lip lay sedated on a table.  A nurse squeezed an Ambu bag to maintain the baby’s breathing, while a doctor began his delicate task.  Barbra watched as tissue was cut, separated, moved, and stitched back together.  She could utter only one response,

"Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful."

Barbra beheld the blood and torn flesh and saw beauty. “I understood I was witnessing a miracle.  Where there was disfigurement, there was redemption.  Hope saturated every tear and mend.  The presence of Jesus was all around,” she described.  

Jesus died, was buried, and rose again.  How beautiful the wounds the Savior of the world endured for us. How beautiful the love poured out at the cross, our debt paid in full.  What joy this Easter to know his wounds mean our healing and his resurrection, our eternal life.

Handicaps and disfigurements like cleft lips are considered a curse in India. Calcutta Mercy surgeons perform two to four surgeries of this kind every day, made possible by donations given to Calcutta Mercy and Smile Train. $500 a month pays for one surgery, inclusive of follow-up care. To mend a child’s smile, complete and return the form below or go to: