The Velvet Hammer Podcast

I can't fix this - A story of Life and Death

October 27, 2020 David Burnell
The Velvet Hammer Podcast
I can't fix this - A story of Life and Death
Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever had an experience or challenge in life that you cannot fix? Are there unresolved issues that cannot at this time be mended? In this short podcast David talks about two specific experiences in Haiti and Burma where what he and others serving  saw was unfixable. David discusses the quote from the Apostle Boyd K. Packer "Restoring what you cannot restore, healing the wound you cannot heal, fixing that which you broke and you cannot fix is the very purpose of the atonement of Christ." (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1995, pp. 19-20.)   

Speaker 1:

Hello, and welcome to another episode of the velvet hammer. My name is David Brunel . You know, there's a story that comes out of Haiti. That was pretty profound for me. And basically the theme of it was I can't fix this. And it came on a day when we had gathered together with doctors and nurses bodyguards to go to the high school in Port-au-Prince and to do a med cap. So a med cap is a mission where you go in and you provide medical aid to the population , uh , in the special forces world it's designed to create , um, unity and affirmation with the local people. So they don't see us as enemy, but also it's designed to literally improve the quality of life and genuinely help . The people I've been involved in many of these , uh, throughout Nicaragua and Burma and Haiti, and some other places. This particular one, there was 10,000 plus people in a tent city right around the high school. And they were literally had ponchos hung up broken cots. Uh , everything was just makeshift tied between trees or any other way. They could hang something up to provide some shelter from the sun or the rain. As we arrived on scene on this large bus, we found that there was a mile or two mile long line of women with children who were preparing to be seen by the doctors and nurses as a bodyguard. I was standing inside the perimeter where the doctors and nurses were actually meeting and greeting and helping assist mainly with the children because mothers had brought many children. There was a huge issue in Haiti at the time where people were starving to death. It's been going on for many, many decades, but it had really acutely become an issue during and after the quake because of the limit limited food supplies. And the fact that during some of the food drops, some of the black market folks were getting the food and the people that needed it, of course were not. So we were at this MedCAP at the high school in Port-au-Prince and I was standing near the canopy where this particular doctor one , I had sat on the plane on the way over to Haiti next to he was a pediatrician young guy, a really a wonderful young man. And he had actually leaned over to me on the way over into Haiti. And he, he asked me, he said, is everything gonna be okay? And I said, I can't tell you that doc, but I can tell you this, if you do what I tell you to do. And when I tell you to do it, your chances of survivability and coming home safely are geometrically increased. And that's what we're after. We're after putting the odds in our favor, by not doing anything dumb or risky or unessential that will put you in harm's way in a way that I might not be able to help you or my team might not be able to help you. He listened to that advice. Um , very good tender man. And he was genuinely concerned about being able to come home safely. So this one day he was underneath the awning dealing with one of the tens of thousands of children that had come to be seen. We were only able to treat, I think we treated like five or 700 people that day when , until they ran out of supplies and capacity. And he, he was dealing with this infant who had, was starving to death literally. And I don't mean to be, you know, to present a downer story, but this is a really relevant message. Especially in these times that , you know , I just can't fix this. He came up to me with this starving baby and presented it to me and said, I can't fix this. And I guess there was a rapport or relationship that had developed between us over the week. We had been there on the way over on the plane and threw out some of the missions. We had run together and he was kind of maxed out and he had big alligator tears in his eyes. As he said to me, I can't fix this. I looked at him and I handed him a partial juice thing that I had in this little carton and said, will this help? And he took it. He goes, I don't know. And he then turned around with the baby and walked back and did what he could do to ease the suffering of this child. I recall another experience in Burma when a mother came up to doc Padgett , boxy , and I N H she presented her dying baby to doc. And I was standing there and looking at doc and looking at the mother, and then looking at this con child who was dying. And doc didn't tell me in the same way this, this pediatrician did. But he basically said after she left, she said, he said, there's nothing we can do for that baby. It was another way of saying I can't fix this. So the purpose of my message today is that there are many things that we cannot fix for those of you who know or don't know, I am a member of church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. And in our church, we have a prophet and apostles. We have 12 apostles and living profit . We believe who is an Oracle for heavenly father and the savior Jesus Christ, and presents to us doctrine, revelation, and information that helps to calm our hearts in a troubled world. And to give us joy and peace when the world is seeking to take that from us. And there was a quote by one of these apostles, his name was Boyd K packer. And he said this in 1995. And he said this, he said, via mint of Jesus Christ. And I'll explain what that is in a minute. He said, quote is restoring what you cannot restore healing. The wound, you cannot heal fixing that, which you broke and cannot fix. It is the very purpose of the atonement of Christ. Just one more time, the atomic is restoring what you can not restore healing. The wound that you cannot heal fixing that, which you broke. And I would like to insert or did not break, which cannot be fixed. It is the very purpose of the atonement of Christ. So the atonement is when Jesus Christ went into the garden of disseminate and he knelt down and prayed, and he swept blood from every pore as he suffered the pains and suffering for all of us in mortality who commit sin, who make mistakes. But beyond that, he suffered for those things, which we cannot fix for the divorce, the death of a loved one, suddenly for the baby. Who's starving to death for the child in Burma, who is dying of something that we cannot fix. And there is great comfort and peace in that message. I just can't fix this, but through the power of the savior, Jesus Christ into your tone , he can, and he has, and he will continue to , um , all that we're required to do is to point towards him in person , perfectly look at him except his words, his will, and do our very best to live a life like he led through example and through commandment, I hope you have a beautiful well day to day . And I hope the things that you cannot fix in your life or mitigated by the atonement of Jesus Christ and by having a brighter hope through him, his ways, his words, and his peace have a great day.