Sunday, October 31, 2010
Faith Self Check Test
Is there a way we can measure our faith? Don’t you just wish that there’s a yardstick-of some kind like a Faith Self Check Test gadget similar to home pregnancy test that you can buy over the counter that can give you signals where your faith stands?
Wouldn’t it be more interesting to see numerical indicators such as 5- most stable; 4- very strong and stable; 3- average; 2 -below average and wavering and 1- lack of faith on a Faith Self Check Scale?
Imagine this, if you want to know your latest faith score, it’s simple, just put your thumb onto it, then it will outright tell you “Congratulations, your faith today is 5- most stable”. On the other hand, it may be dreading to see a blinking red light with a high pitch beeping tone that complements a screen message saying “Warning, your faith today is 2- below average,sorry.”
Unfortunately, no matter how high tech it may sound, the truth is, it doesn’t work that way. The real measurement of our faith can not be quantified in any form even if assumingly there’s an existing faith self check test gadget. Our faith is put to a test NOT when life is smooth sailing and devoid of any problems. But, when things go wrong in our lives, that’s when we usually cling to our faith.
If you come to think of it, truthfully, how often do we knock on heaven’s door pushing our prayers in when our marriage is at its best or our careers at its peak or during moments when we enjoy living in luxury.
Realistically, what usually happens is that we only come to Him during times when we need Him.
Recently, God shook my faith up in a very special way. Three weeks ago, a horrifying news about mom’s serious condition reached me. My mother had a massive right brain attack. She got operated and stayed at the Neuro Critical Care Unit.
I hurriedly packed my bags and flew more than six thousand miles away while being on pins and needles. The thought of what I was going to see at the hospital petrified me.
My imagination ran wild of the worse case scenario during my 20 hour flight. As soon as I entered the room, my blood ran cold when I saw my mom’s shaved head with dark black stitches on the left side of the head, tubes plugged in her nose and mouth (NGT and respirator.) Her eyes barely opened, left side of the body is paralyzed and worse, her voice was hardly audible with common stroke patient’s slur.
I broke out in cold sweat as I uttered my first greetings “Mom it’s me. I’m home now.” I knew she was listening to my voice even if her eyes were closed. I saw an indescribable peace on her face.
Spending two weeks watching mom attending to her personal needs at the Neuro Critical Care Unit was like struggling in a boot camp. No chance to relax or to doze off since her machines kept on beeping one after another. And once it set off (on an average three times a day), I always got jolted from deep slumber-woke up disoriented, nervous and terrified that I might suddenly witness a Grey’s Anatomy's patient resuscitating scenes.
In other words, aside from deep dark eye circles, a spaced- out - blank stares of a sleep deprived person did not only make me looked like a living zombie but a certified boot camp survivor. Well at least, it’s never too late to discover something new about oneself.
At the end of the 2nd week at the Neuro Critical Care Unit, we were anxiously anticipating for the extubation, the removal of the endotracheal tube from the larynx. My siblings and I prayed as hard as we could for the success of the process since doctors forewarned us that in the event that extubation won’t work, they’d be forced to perform a tracheostomy a procedure that involves opening a hole into the trachea with a tube. Blessedly, mom successfully got away sans tracheostomy. Thank God!
As soon as docs were sure that she was out of the woods, she was transferred straight away in a regular room. That was when my heart was put in place. While in the room, mom slowly showed eye opening, started uttering phrases and sentences (still with a slur though) but sounding a little bit clearer than before.
Aggressive therapies especially with Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy pushed her to put a little effort to move the right part of her body since therapists are still working on the left- the paralyzed side.
It’s amazing how God puts His hand to heal the damaged part of her body slowly but surely. He led us to take mom to the right hospital where He wanted us to be. He anointed the hands of the medical doctors and nursing staff who not only displayed professionalism par excellence but genuinely showed tender loving care on top of everything.
Though mom’s still needs a complete therapy work out and a great deal of time to heal. For sure, she’ll be sitting on a wheelchair for quite some time, but certainly not forever. My mom’s spirit was not crashed but renewed. Her faith soars like an eagle reaching sky high inspite of her condition.
I was humbled and blessed by her unwavering faith. Tomorrow, November 1st, is her 75th birthday. Finally, doctors scheduled her to be discharged from the hospital- a precious gift as the beginning of a new life.