Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dark night...


I woke up on Monday morning and found myself shivering. So I bought some strong panadol from the 7-11 at Rail Mall during the class' break. That day onwards, I started to lost my appetite though I was hungry. My saliva tasted bitter. Nonetheless I didn't skip any meal.

When Wednesday came, and my condition hadn't improved, I went to the clinic. I told the doctor that I didn't have appetite to eat but I felt hungry. And whenever I ate, I felt like throwing out. I also told him that I suspect it's the strong panadol that I took that cause this.

The doctor thought that I might had some kind of viral infection. So he prescribed normal panadol, some pills that stop the nausea, and some for the allergy. He told me to go back if my condition don't get better in the following 48 hours.

That night, my stomach felt worse than previous nights. I woke up a few times through the night. I didn't know why the pain. I was repetatively asking God to take away the anguish but that didn't happen. And I was drenched with sweat.

The next day, Thursday, I feel cold and hot abruptedly the whole day. I thought that the medicine has not be effective yet.

After having a cup-noodle and a small bowl of oat for dinner, I went to rest. About two in the morning, the pain hit again. And this time was not like the previous times. The pain is much worst than previous nights. The whole night, I was begging God for help. Begged like a dying dog. Begged in the darkness. But all I heard was my own groaning. All I felt was the misery. And naturally the famous question came to mind, "If there is a good God, why the pain, and why the silent?"

I couldn't sleep. Many thoughts been going through my mind. I was sweating, groaning, cussing, doubting, and praying. And in the middle of that, I remembered the 'dark night of the soul'.

The dark night is, or should be, an aspect of all Christian spirituality: the learning of the difficult truth that if God is God, then God is not there for our consolation; a truth learnt primarily by means of the failure of consolation, a "ruthess purging of self-indulgent and consolatory emotion."

There are times, and there should be times, when all we can do is cling on to God with 'obstinate blind faithfulness', even though we feel no consolation, even though our prayers seem to disappear into nowhere, even though our words seem empty - even though we can no longer sense the glory of God addressing us in the goodness, truth, and beauty of the world.

(Mike Higton, Difficult Gospel: The Theology of Rowan Williams, p.103)

The pain didn't stop even after the sun is risen. As my frailty couldn't bear it any longer, I visited the clinic the second time. This time, I told the doctor that I suspect that I have been having gastric cramp. He checked me and prescribed some medicines. And last night I had a good sleep. I am relief that the cramp is gone, though the sorethroat is still there, and I still feeling dizzy and weak.

It is common for us to doubt God during testing times. And I can understand why many atheists continuously using the famous question, "Why are there so much evil, if there is a good God?" to discredit God's existent. I've asked this myself. Yet through this experience, another question need to be asked, "Why is there so much good around?"

In the past few days, I have received many well-wishes and prayers from friends. My friends at ORTV have been praying for me everyday since the day they know that I fell sick. They offered to fetch me to the clinic or anything that I need them to help. My ex-boss and colleagues have been SMS-ing to check on my well-being almost everyday. Classmates have been praying for me. Friends at TTC helped me with my cluster duty for this week. They told me that they are standing by should I need anything from them. Pui Yee called to check on me everyday. My NT lecturer offered to cook porridge for me.

I was supposed to meet up with Kar Yong this week. Instead of meeting up, we ended up with just SMS-ing each other. And he has been asking about my condition every time. And just now, a friend who is staying about 3 bus-stop from TTC cooked some pork porridge and made a ham sandwiches for me. I was moved.

Why are there so much good, if there is no God?

3 comments:

zenhow said...

illness often reminds us of the fragility of our bodies. good to hear that you have recovered =)

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Hao, this time i was also reminded that my body doesn't belong to me. Because I can't control its temperature, the pains, etc.

Kar Yong said...

glad to know you have recovered. We'll meet again next month. Take care, bro.