Monday, April 9, 2007


This afternoon I've been to a hospital. Finally, a real one. I could describe to you the familiar scent of Lysol, the eery silence of the well-lit corridors, the sound of moving wheelchairs, and the stench of sickness hovering around.

For the past days the only exposure I've had to medicine has been Grey's Anatomy and House, MD--entertaining shows, yes, but they both reek of artificiality and Hollywood. Surely there can't be that many good-looking doctors working in one hospital. Thanks to my active academic workload during the past semester, I was deprived of watching these shows. Besides, there's no cable TV in Yakal to begin with. I feel that now is the best time to catch up. Ah, don't we all just love the summer break?

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Together with Ate Rae, Manong Ralph, Joel, Deb, and Kito, I went to visit and minister to Ate Arene. She has been diagnosed with cancer. I was told she's been undergoing treatment for the past three years. So far, there have already been complications in the brain and in other internal organs.

We first met at Gateway where we had a nice afternoon chat. From there, Ate Rae drove us to Cardinal Santos Medical Center. When we arrived, we saw Kuya Lito and his wife, Ate Fe, approaching--they came to visit, too.

Minutes later, there we were, in front of an ill woman whose body was hardly movable, in whose arms were long tubes, whose speech was barely understandable. But her face--oh, you should see it!--it was shining. It was almost an impossibility really, for how could someone in deep-seated physical pain still manage to smile? She knew we were there. In an unintelligible voice, she motioned us to sing for her. If only we had known, we would've brought guitars and beat boxes and keyboards with us. We sang "God is the Strength of My Heart," "In Your Presence," among other common church songs. We could say that she was singing with us because her lips were curling to make out some words in the songs.

Just before we left, we prayed for her. May she realize that even in this trial, albeit painful and hard, God is in control. May she find comfort in the fact that all this is for God's glory and for her own good--no matter how hard that may be to understand. My dear readers, do pray for her, too.

The world is beset with sickness--of a physical kind and worse, spiritual. Troubled people may need Dr. Grey or Dr. House to cure them of their bodily pains, but when it comes to the diseases of their souls, they ultimately need God. And unless the sick find the need to have a thorough examination in God's hospital, they will have no hope.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I could never imagine how someone in such a condition could still manage to even smile. I shudder to even just think of feeling the pain she's going through. But God works wonders for His children when they put their trust in Him. May He be her comfort and her strength.

Wed Apr 11, 11:42:00 AM GMT+8  

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