Would You Wait for a Miracle?

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I have a two month old patient, whose bed is way too big for and who hasn’t cried in my presence once. She has blue eyes, which I could barely see through her constantly dilated pupils. Her skin is whiter than snow and colder than ice. She’s not responsive. She has more peripherals connected to her body than a body of that size should handle.

My two month old patient, precious and young as she is, is brain dead.

For a while, my friends and I lamented her young life. She is a person who will never live. She will never utter the words mom, she will never walk, she will never ride a bike. She will never even have solid food. Why was she being kept alive? Why  was she being put in such pain?

The medical aspect in us couldn’t understand the point of keeping life tethered to that girl. It didn’t make any sense. There’s no way she will wake up again. There’s no way she will recover. For all matters and purposes, that girl who has lived for two months exists no more.

But still, her parents kept her alive adorning her bed with rosaries and religious icons as they prayed by her bedside.

“I know it’s over,” I overheard her mom say while crying. “But I’m hoping He’d look down at her and see how such a precious creature she is and help her.”

And the mother would ask us: what will happen if things worked out with her? What will you see? Isn’t she snoring? What is that sound?

We’d answer in a way to stay true to the medicine without squashing her hopes. Hope, in this case, is a double-edged sword.

They were waiting for a miracle. My friends would even chuckle at the thought. But even though I also thought it was absurd, I just felt terribly, terribly sorry for what that mother had to go through, seeing her daughter’s shell in front of her: alive but not.

I’ve been thinking about miracles ever since I was allocated that little girl. While they round on other patients and they reach her case, I often find myself thinking about the miracle she is waiting for. I don’t get miracles. I don’t know if I believe in them. I think I don’t. But if there’s anything about miracles that I’m sure of, it’s that they are unjust.

Then I thought about what I’d do if I had been the father whose daughter was in my patient’s bed, with tubes going out of her in order to keep her alive. My answer would have surely been a resounding: turn it off. Purely medical. Pure electrolytes. Pure CT scans. Pure EEGs. Pure data. Or so I thought.

Today, as I saw that woman crying over her daughter, I didn’t pity her. I was utterly shocked that what she was doing didn’t feel odd. It didn’t feel weak. It didn’t feel like something I would remotely try to ridicule, like many people I’ve encountered would. Because the shocking revelation was that I’m not so sure I can turn it off, in spite of al the data.

Would you?

 

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The Rapture

It’s already May 22nd in some parts of the world, meaning the day the world should have ended has passed with nothing happening.

So let us recap about what some of us did today: got up, missed breakfast, went online for a bit, met up with friends, had lunch, got bored through afternoon, came up with Saturday night plans, executed those plans, got back home and now you’re on the verge of sleeping. Pretty uneventful end of world day, no?

How many end of world days did/will we have in our lifetime? We’ve had Y2K, May 21st 2011, and the Mayan calendar ending on December 21st, 2012. That’s a lot of world-ending dates, don’t you think?

The main problem with this rapture balderdash is that some people take it way too seriously, making it their job to come up with meaningless dates. I do not like to take scripture literally. I do not believe that God will descend someday and literally “save” everyone. Why? simply because the point of Scripture is not to make you believe in the end of days but rather to give you a way of life until that day comes, be it in your lifetime or some other time.  Therefore, this whole talk about analysis of scripture (regardless of what scripture it is) to come up with a failed date of when that’s supposed to happen is, for lack of better word, stupid.

Honestly, if anyone thinks the world ending will happen in our lifetime, they’re seriously delusional. I hate to break it to you people but in the grander scheme of things, we (and I do mean all of us) are irrelevant. How so? In a hundred years from now, even the brightest people among us, will have their legacy either disproved, or lightly used. Some people’s memories do survive into several generations but those are exceptions. Who of us knows anything about their great grandfather? I barely know anything about my grandfather who passed away a couple of years before I was even born.

The world will end someday. It is a scientific certainty. But the world is still young. There’s plenty of room to grow as well as destroy. You might think the current worldwide political situation (weapons race and whatnot) is bad, but if you look at the whole picture, it’s rather silly. No one will use those weapons of mass destruction against another country because, simply, no one has the guts to do so – even the countries that fake almighty strength.

I’m positive as well that each century has had its series of rapture dates. After all, it has been a constant pursuit for man to reach some sort of conclusion and what better conclusion to be reached than to the most puzzling question of our existence: what lies after?

So until the world ends, which is a time when we, our children, their children, their children’s children (I can keep going here) are dead, I don’t think we should be dancing as Britney Spears would say, but rather, maybe we should lessen focus on the development of weapons and maybe on ways to preserve the planet we call home, at least let us enjoy the natural wealth we have, until it all goes away.

Carrie Underwood… How Great Thou Art

Praising God magnificently with a divine rendition of the brilliant “How Great Thou Art,” Carrie Underwood has transcended common grounds.

Not only does she send shivers down your spine but listening to her when she brings it all out is truly a magnificent experience.

Jennifer Nettles proclaimed after Carrie finished belting out the last note: “what a voice!”
People in the audience were crying.
The standing ovation started with more than minute left of Carrie singing.

God is great…. but in these moments, we say to Carrie Underwood: how great thou art.

And just as someone shouts just before Carrie started singing: we love you. It’s hard not to after hearing her sing that.

It is a performance like this that further solidifies what Brad Paisley has said about Carrie. “She is the best singer in any format of music today”.
Yes, she is.

Watch the performance here: