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February 14, 2014


A chance encounter with a middle-aged woman on Sunday night made me realize how frail we all are as humans. We take for granted the fact that we wake up every morning, go about our daily activities and retire at night to rest our bodies hoping to do it all again the following day. For some, as simple as this might seem, going through a 24-hr day sometimes feels like death. It sounds extreme but that’s the truth. I sat with this warm-hearted lady on Sunday night and she shared with me her eight-year battle with an ailment that manifests itself like cancer, only without the tumours. It’s called LUPUS.

She explained that she has to take a cock-tail of drugs every day to stay alive. In the event she suffers a crisis, she undergoes chemotherapy which she explained was a very painful procedure. Might I also add that the side effects of some of the drugs she’s taking is memory loss and numbness of the joints. She said sometimes, going up the staircase would take her over an hour. During attacks, she’ll crawl to her door and open it with her teeth because her fingers wouldn’t grasp the door knob. She’ll hurl up at the corner of her room in pain for days at a stretch.

In those periods, having a shower felt like lifting two bags of rice up a flight of stairs at the same time. Hmmmm, these are simple tasks we perform every day. What a life. Whether we want to believe it or not, we’re all living on the edge and it’s only by the grace of God we’re even able to rise up every day and go about our daily activities. We spend time worrying about moving to a bigger house in a posh neighbourhood, better job, new car, shopping sprees abroad, classy friends, etc. whereas there are people out there battling to stay alive each day. Making it to the next day is enough for them to thank God. Like the lady said to me, ‘I can die today or tomorrow. With this condition, anything can happen but I’m grateful to God I’m alive’.

Life indeed is a gift from God. I’ve lived all my life without having to spend a single night in the hospital. The worst illness I’ve ever suffered is malaria (the mild type). People are battling with cancer, diabetes, AIDS, lupus, hepatitis, kidney failure, etc… Yet the few times I’ve been down with malaria, it seemed like the world was coming to an end. I remember this song and would like to share with you all: ‘Some have food but cannot eat; some can eat but have no food…. We have food and we can eat, glory be to thee oh Lord’….. That sums it all up.

Those who have food and cannot eat are most likely ill and those who can eat and have no food are poor. We are well physically and well materially. Thanks be to God. In the spirit of valentine, I’d like us to reflect on our relationship with people around us and not just our spouses. Do we really show love? How are we using this gift called life? The bible says ‘LOVE’ is the greatest gift of all. We are here to help one another. Show love, just because. As Christ put it, the two most important commandments are: 1) to LOVE your God with all your heart and with all your might 2) to LOVE your neighbour as you love yourself. Your life is a GIFT from God; cherish it and use it to benefit others.

Happy Valentine’s Day people……

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