I must admit, when it comes to books, I’m not much of an avid reader. However, sometimes I stumble upon books where I find myself lost not only in the fantasy world that the book has created for itself, but also in the words.
There are several reasons why books are so thrilling and hard to put down sometimes. Perhaps it’s that ‘other life’ that you long for, or the drama and romance development between certain characters, or it’s simply because of the fact that it was well written. But for me, I think it’s something else. To get that revelation. To transform the words and the story into something meaningful to me and my life- to gain more insight on certain things.
During my 6 weeks of placement back at home for school, I found myself taking out a book to read during my lunch hour breaks. That was when I decided I should start reading more novels during my free time. Of course, after placement and after having finished the book (which was amazing by the way- One Thousand Splendid Suns), I found it hard to start reading a new book.
However, yesterday I decided to pick it up again and I started reading The Witch of Portobello (by Paulo Coelho, who is also the author of The Alchemist). It’s about a woman who passed away, and her story is being told by several people who may or may not have known her very well. I find it so fascinating that it is written in this perspective; something so different and fresh.
I came across this one part of the book early on, and it hit me. Here’s a little excerpt from the book which caught my attention (this part was when her ex-husband was narrating the story):
Once, when i went to fetch Viorel (their son) and bring him back to spend the weekend with me, I decided to ask her why she’d reacted so calmly when I told her I wanted a separation.
“Because all my life I’ve learned to suffer in silence,” she replied.
And only then did she put her arms around me and cry out all the tears she would like to have shed on that day.
It was that one sentence that stuck in my head the entire day, and it is the exact reason that made me want to blog. When was the last time you’ve suffered? And exactly how does one deal with suffering? Well, there is no exact answer, because, we all suffer differently. For this character, she suffered in silence. Perhaps some of us may not outwardly appear hurt and depressed, but inwardly, their heart is shattered into a million tiny pieces.
I remembered when one of my loved ones passed away, it was the hardest thing for me to accept. I remember every night before he died, I would hide in my mother’s closet, and pray to God that He would give me a miracle. And on September 15, 2003, God took him away. At the time, I was so mad at Him because I wanted to ask why He took him away from me when all I did day in and day out was pray to Him asking for a miracle. But looking back now, him being taken away was the miracle. He no longer had to suffer, and was going back home with God. But it was just at the time that I was too upset and dismayed to even remotely accept that as the answer.
Not only did that one sentence bring back those unfortunate memories, but it also got me thinking about how I am now in the present. I think it has been way too long that I have neglected Him. And I told myself that I need to devote more time to Him every day. Every time when things are just not going my way, I always resort to Him. And I realize that no, I am not suffering alone, because He is always present. Holding my hand through it all. But then what about the times when life is going fine and dandy? It is I who turn my back on Him and neglect Him. But yet I always find myself going back to Him. It’s amazing how God works and the wonders that He provides for us even when we might not be looking.
So next time when you’re not having the greatest day, just remember that no matter what, you don’t need to suffer in silence. Because God is right there to listen to you. To be your rock and your foundation.