Pain cannot be avoided but even in the midst of all this, we can choose to be happy.
|The last few months have been a terrible experience for many people out there. The situation had been worse. Nobody knew that the pandemic would take this ugly shape. Working from home, using masks and sanitizers was still acceptable but it went overboard with people losing their lives. People were hopeful of going back into their normal routine but the pandemic had other plans. There were thousands of death, economic downfall, and whatnot. People helplessly went around searching for hospital beds and many breathed their last breath on roads and their houses without getting proper medical attention. I read all this, heard all this but could never really understand how it felt. As it says, it's difficult to put ourselves in another person's situation unless we don't experience the same thing. It's not like I never thought that the covid is not going to hit us. But, I never thought how it might feel when it is at my door. My parents were tested positive. We thought it would be a minor case and could be healed with medications. But, my dad had to be admitted to the hospital as his condition was not improving. The experience I had at the hospital is unforgettable. I saw people dying, crying with desperate eyes in search of beds. Many were lying on the floor waiting for their turn. Even doctors and staff had to harden their hearts and say that 'there is no space available here.' We too waited for 6 hours but were at least a bit privileged to get a room. I just thought to myself that where would these people go. Many of our acquaintances required beds, oxygen cylinders, etc. There were hours of calling and consoling each other. Each morning started with the fear of hearing about somebody's loss. Hearing and witnessing all this, my father being in the hospital, all these I thought might pull me down but even amid these uncertainties, I felt profound peace and strength. One night, this song came to my mind "Even when it hurts like hell, I'll praise you, Even when it makes no sense, louder then I'll sing your praise." The joy I felt was incomparable. Many questioned about life, many asked where is God and it didn't make sense to many to be grateful and still be joyful. But no matter what life throws at us, we can still be joyful and hopeful if we surrender ourselves to God. Only he can fill us with peace like no other.
Recently, one of my student's fathers took his life because of debts. As a teacher, it took me two days to muster the courage to talk to the family. The mother said to me " I wish, he could have told me about his pain, I could have helped." Maybe the pain and helplessness were so deep that it was just not sharable. We might not know that there would be so many around us - who would need help and support to deal with their situations. Giving up is always easy and giving up on someone is selfish. There is nothing that can't be overcome with hope and trust in God. When we might feel we are mere spectators of all that's happening, there is a lot that we can do. Often small things bring about a big change. Death is inevitable, a person's memories and absence can hurt but we need to move ahead and use our experiences and gifts to make this world beautiful and fulfill our purpose. Even death, sufferings, emotional burdens can be overcome if God is our firm foundation. There's always a calm after the storm, after every night there's a brighter day.