At 5:50 the morning of Shabbat, I was woken up by a phone call from one of the nurses in the ICU. I knew exactly what she was going to say; our phone call lasted less than a minute.
As Colin and I drove to the hospital the roads were of course empty at that hour of the morning, on the day of rest across the land.
Colin brought the words of 1 Corinthians 13.12 to our journey,
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
And it was a comfort to remember always that God’s plan is above everything, as the news was sinking in that baby Abdulsalam had passed away. He was just two days old when he came to the hospital here in Israel with his beautiful grandma, who has been with him this whole time. She is the only member of his family who has known him, as he came here so soon after being born.
His room upon arrival was filled with the sound of the Quran, and we found his grandma crying as she prayed. The room was full of grief, as this beautiful lady was coming to terms with this situation.
Before saying goodbye, I was able to see Abdulsalam’s face, which looked swollen and discoloured. It was very difficult to look at him.
She stayed in the Jaffa house with us through the Shabbat, as the weather turned and a huge lightning storm crashed across the sky all night long.
We saw God’s glory, like in a mirror, dimly, yet so spectacularly that night. Knowing that it is He who cleft a channel for the torrents of rain and a way for the thunderbolt…it is He who lifts up His voice to the clouds, and it is He who can send forth lightnings..it is He who is just, faithful and true.
Today, Moshe and Yousif had the task of returning Abdulsalam’s body and his grandma to Gaza. Moshe reflected about it later and shared how he wanted to return Abdulsalam with honour and dignity. His wrapped body seemed so small, even it was hard to know which end was the head and which the feet.
Moshe said that the grandmother was crying so much as he told her that he was so sorry and was thinking all the time how he wished Abdulsalam could have lived.
During the time he waited in the car for the body of Abdulsalam to be released, he put the air conditioning on cold, and thought about how the instructions for a baby are normally to put on heat.
At the Erez border, an ambulance driver arrived and took an adult patient, Abdulsalam’s grandma, and two babies: one still alive and full of hope, the other, Abdulsalam, whose body has breathed its last. Going back home.
Please pray for comfort for the family of Abdulsalam, and especially for his grandma, who faithfully stood by his side these many days. Praise God who in His wisdom has taken him home.