Sacred Space in a School Infirmary


Christine Stanfield, Missionary, Uganda

We use milestones collected in our hearts and minds to construct altars of remembrance. Sometimes we find ourselves building them in a most unlikely place.

One morning while working at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya, we were shocked to receive a phone call telling us our son, Chris, had a seizure in PE class at his boarding school. We quickly handed over duties, packed a bag, and started out on the long drive to be with Chris.

Upon arrival at the school infirmary, our hearts ached to see the many bumps and bruises and a cut from his fall against a wire fence and then down onto the ground. Chris was started on medication and needed to be monitored through the night. The nurse invited us to stay in the infirmary with him. After a late supper, we settled in for the night.

I was startled awake as my spirit cried vehemently within me, “I am so disappointed in you, God! I trusted you to protect my son. I am very disappointed!” God joined my heart-space conversation. “I can handle your disappointment, but I have a question for you. Do you trust Me?”

“I do trust You, but I am disappointed.”

“Do you trust Me?” I felt Him gently ask. 

“I think I trust You. Why do You ask? You know the answer better than I.”

“For what lies ahead for you and your family, for where I am leading you next, you MUST know if you trust Me. Do you trust Me?”

I invited God’s Spirit to reveal what was in my heart. I saw incomplete trust. “Oh, God, I do trust You. Increase my faith to trust You more. Holy Spirit, always remind me that I know I trust God. Whatever comes my way, I trust you, God.”

Suddenly, within that room, my heart space became sacred ground and a holy quiet filled my being. Using every bump on my son’s body as building stones, along with other mental stones from experiences past, I constructed an altar of remembrance in worship to God, whom I trust.

In the years since building that altar in the school infirmary, I have often gone to that sacred heart space to worship the God I trust. He was right. I needed to know that I know that I trust Him.