I have been pondering over the matter of divine providence and our need to trust in God’s goodness all the time. A church friend I got to know on a casual basis owing to my being newly baptised then had just gone home to the Lord. She was summoned to eternal life at the age of 55, the age she retired from a job she had faithfully laboured at for some thirty years. In our short acquaintance I had the chance to know more about her. She was a cheerful gentle person and she was always helpful. I recalled asking her questions when I was so new to the practices in the Church and she was so kind to me. Later, we had made a short trip to Malaysia in a bus with many other parishioners. It so happened that we shared a room with another good friend of mine. The three of us got along well and we enjoyed our short trip visiting churches.
Then there was another pilgrimage being organised and this friend had planned to join in. It was a trip to Europe – a longer trip, certainly. But she never made it. The other pilgrims went and came back with stories to share, souvenirs to give away. . .
For reasons best known to our Lord, this friend of mine apparently had a severe headache, suffered a stroke and never came back to the Church again. She landed up in a Catholic home where she remained for the next nine years. In that time I paid her two visits but we never talked. I prayed and wished her well. Yes, my friend was in a coma, never to wake up to this world again. It seemed like she just fell into a deep sleep. She went in with a head full of black hair and when I saw her again the second time in the home, I must say that I had difficulty looking for her. My eyes searched the beds and finally I saw her. She was now much smaller in size and her hair had all turned white. Still she was at peace. I learnt that her communication was limited to tears and smiles. She was in the good hands of our God.
Last Friday I learnt that she had been summoned to go home to spend eternity in the room the Lord had prepared for her. This faithful servant is now at peace and I do believe that she smiles at us all. At her funeral today, the priest talked ahout her dignified and simple way. Yes, she remains in our minds a devoted child of God, caring and loving. A relative gave a eulogy and revealed further the kind of person she was to her loved ones. My name sake is now at peace, for dead or alive we belong to the Lord.
I would say that I was led to think more about the whole issue of divine providence. Can we ever outdo God in generosity? Never! Can we not trust His word that we are not to seek material things first but that His Kingdom must be top priority? Certainly!Here was a lady who went into a coma. She did not expect it at all. Did anyone know she was ever going to wake up from her coma? Did her colleagues or any of us in the Church know that it would be another nine years before she finally returned to her eternal reward? No. So, who has been taking care of her all these years? Who has seen to all her needs? She had no idea. She was just lying on her bed while nurses, care givers and family members took care of all her needs. She could not worry at all. She could not make known her requests. In her silence, she was just a great witness to all of us who are alive. She has shown us how deeply God has loved her and given her all that she needed. She was taken care of – material and spiritual needs.
Dead or alive, we belong to the Lord. What a consolation! When I reflected on this matter, I experienced an upsurge of faith. I was consoled with the affirmation received. I pray that many more people take heart and believe that God Who loved us so and sent His Son to save us is aware of all our needs. He knows what is best for each one. Can we begin to grow in trust? Can we begin to heed his words and live as children dependent on a loving Father Who will always provide for us? Yes, let us seek first His Kingdom and all else will be added unto us! May we persevere with hope. Yes, hope springs eternal in the human heart! This is so when the heart has God as Lord and King.