Where faith and truth collide

As the hours passed, Haveen’s mother waited to know the results of Haveen’s catheterization. She waited to know if her daughter is well, despite the heightened risk of the procedure. She waited to know especially if Haveen is or is not operable which the cath should have made clear.  She got a phone call from a relative in Kurdistan. I assume they were praying with Haveen’s mother as she repeated one word, “Ameen.” Whenever we pray as Christians, we end with this same word, but it is pronounced with a short vowel sound. ‘Ameen’ means truly and is rooted in the Hebrew word for truth. For example, when Jesus makes a statement starting with “Truly, truly, I say unto you,” the Hebrew translation of ‘truly’ is “Amen, amen.”

As I sat there listening to Haveen’s mother use this word, which at it’s core means truth, I thought it also seems phonetically similar to the Arabic word for faith “Iman.” I’m not a specialist in Semetic languages, yet this connection formed in my mind between the words for faith and truth, as we waited for the result and answer from Haveen’s cath.

It seems a bit paradoxical that this should be, i.e. if faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see, then things we count as true are often classified as such because we rely on our eyes to see and to some extent verify a truth claim. But something about waiting in a hospital to know whether a baby has survived a procedure, and to know if something can be done to save her life, makes faith and truth collide.

The relative’s phonecall ended. Within minutes, one of the cath doctors came out to speak with Haveen’s mother. In no way is it an exaggeration to say that this was the moment Haveen’s family has been waiting for since she was first diagnosed. In Arabic, the doctor explained that they had finished the catheterization, and while they needed to plan further, Haveen is in fact operable. Never in my life will I forget the expression on Haveen’s mother’s face. Disbelieving for joy, and hoping against hope, her daughter has a chance to live.

To be sure, the surgery will be dangerous, just as much as was initially told to Haveen’s mother in the meeting nearly two weeks ago. Yet today, for this moment, there was overflowing joy at the fact that Haveen had lived through the cath, and there is a chance for her have life further.

Thank you so much for praying for Haveen leading up to this point and please, please continue to hold her in prayer now.