I took a bus and not MRT to office this morning. I found that though it takes longer time to reach my office, but I’ll always get a seat in the bus, so I could use my commuting time by having some rest while I listen to the sermons from my MP3 player. These past nights were tough – I hardly get a good sleep every night, so I do savor any chance to sit and close my eyes.
But seated on the upper level of double-decker was too exciting, so I decided to enjoy the view. I like to watch people, watch them waiting for the bus, trying to decode their personalities from the way they dress or sit or stand. And as the bus got closer to one empty bus stop, I saw a man, pushing a wheel chair. No one was at the bus stop. No one walked or stood along the road, so it’s hard not to see and watch them.
When I saw the woman in the wheel chair, my first thought was: she is fat. Uhm, sorry, it’s not a noble thought, I know. But she’s fat. Then I said to my self, of course she’s fat. She only has half of her arms and legs – that’s why she’s in the wheel chair. And there’s no way she can send herself to exercise. How? Is there any way? Could she use any diet? But won’t she need the food – to strengthen herself? She must need more energy than normal person does, because every single thing will be more difficult to be done by her.
I tried to imagine the way his husband (or brother, or whatever their relationship they have) feels. She’s fat. And it was a steep road, so it must be very heavy. (Oh dear, you all must think I’m really heartless here). Once when I was still in college, I saw a middle-age man in his wheel chair entered our campus. It was a steep road too, so I offered myself to push his chair. He declined my offer of course, saying he’s been used to it. But I insisted to help him so he allowed me and we talked. It turned out he’s a master program student at the art department, and I must admit, he was heavy! It’s only a few hundred meters and I had tried to keep my voice in steady tone while I was talking when in fact I felt like losing all my breath of being very tired. So that’s why I thought – oh dear, the man must find it’s heavy to push the woman’s chair. I did wonder if he does it everyday. And if he does, I did wonder why. Why? Why a woman without arms and legs would want to go out in the morning – as if going to office?
Just yesterday evening, I have asked the same question to myself. I saw an Indian man in his wheel chair (he got himself the automatic one, bless him) got on the bus. I watched him from my seat and saw that he needed a lot of time only to get his EZlink card (the card we use to go by train or bus here in Singapore). He dressed in normal office attire, still neat though it’s already at the end of the day, brought with him an office bag, so he was definitely going home from office. And I couldn’t help to wonder, how can this man finish his work at the office, if even for a small thing like getting his wallet from his pocket seemed like an impossible task? Oh, I forget to mention, I think the man had only one good arm – it looks like one of his arms was limp. Maybe he had a stroke or something like that.
What about me? What about me? While I keep pitying myself because I feel very limited due to my illness. What? What illness? Yeah this gastritis is still here – even after 5 months of medication. Yes I still have problems in breathing and feeling nausea here and there almost every night. Yes my nerve system is a bit weaker than normal people. But then, what? What are the things that limit me from doing my best?
I kept asking God why He gave me this weakness because I feel like I can’t do a lot of thing I want to do for Him. I wrote once in this blog: I hope – if I’m allowed to hope – I hope someday these weakness stop getting in my way. What weakness? Compared to the brave lady and the Indian man I saw this morning and yesterday – I’m nothing. I’m nothing but a wimp who can’t stop complaining. I excuse myself from doing the best – because I think I’m limited. And if I may talk straight here – yeah, maybe I think that it’s God who made me limited.
And it’s not even a deadly illness like cancer or permanent disabilities. I only have to adjust my schedule, take rest when I’m tired and not overdrive myself like what I always do. My limitations are only being unable to sleep at 2 or 3 AM like before, being unable to keep cooking or sewing or working or doing other things when I should have been sleeping. My limitations are only being unable to eat delicious spicy food or eating too much, or eating late. My limitations are only being unable to run and walk too fast or lift heavy things too often. My limitations are nothing.
My limitations may have limited and stopped me from being a super-woman who can be an architect at the day and a talented chef at mid-night. But other than that, my limitations only make me a normal human, who needs to take her meal regularly and has enough sleep every night. But my limitations don’t stop me from reading and writing, learning and teaching, singing and praising and praying. They don’t stop me from doing what I have to do at the office or at the church – though I can’t be the super girl I wanted to be, able to do every single thing.
I’ve been complaining and asking God why He gives me more limitations when I’ve already felt limited enough. But today I learn, I’m nothing but a coward trying to escape my responsibilities by telling myself (and others) that I’m limited.
What a shame!