Saturday, February 2, 2008

Serving God and being faithful in spite of illness

In a Christian culture where people flock to healing rally expecting their diseases and illnesses to be healed, I find this one woman to be unique. She does not make a fuss about her condition when she was diagnosed to have stage 1-2 Parkinson disease. Her shoulder is stiff and tense after a day of hard work in the office. Her mobility and motor activity has slowed down considerable and noticeably. Doctors who are her friends spotted her Parkinson-like movement and advised her to see neurologist. She is too young to suffer from Parkinson disease. But a specialist confirmed it and she is being treated with medication.

She works twice as hard.
Like the Proverbs 31 woman, she is wise. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. Her wisdom is sought after by many particularly those who work under her. She is perceptive and insightful. I often wonder why she is so wise even though she did not have a degree in counseling.

She is industrious.
First to arise in the house and she makes sure that everything is done for the family. Literally she gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls (Prov. 31:15). She sleeps only 4 to 5 hours a day. I have known her to be a woman of strength both physical and mental. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. Everything she does, she gives her all. Her colleagues commented that she is a ‘super woman.’ This may have to do with her mother’s upbringing. Her mother is a tough woman herself.

She has entrepreneur’s blood running in her vein.
She could have been a CEO running a big company. But she chooses to marry a pastor and give her time serving God. Not unlike the Proverbs 31 woman, she sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers (Prov. 31:18-19). She works hard to make sure that her business is built upon biblical values. Today she runs an education business with 3 other partners and the center has a reputation that provides excellent and quality education for the children.

She is compassionate.
She employs a woman who once was struggling with her life both financially and spiritually. She took her into her center and made her to cook for the children and the staff. She helps her to be strong and to get on with her life.

Recently this ‘super woman’ decided to take in an aborigine girl to her education center to train her. I was thinking how she is going to train an illiterate young girl. “I would train her for 10 weeks so that she could go back to her village and to teach other children. And from time to time she could come back to the center to be trained. This is one way we could help the Orang Asli (Aborigines). Ramla could also stay in my house during the period of training.” This is neither the first time nor the last that she has shown mercy to the marginalized and the destitute. She opens her arm to the poor and extends her hands to the needy (Prov. 31:20). She has a heart of gold.

She dresses in style.
She is clothed in fine linen and purple (Prov. 31:22). Her dress sense and taste is far better than her husband. Always elegantly dressed for work, she exudes grace and poise. Now I know why her daughter is crazy over purple color. She is the chip of the old block.

She makes her husband looks good.
She is as theologically trained as her husband. She has 2 master degrees but hardly anyone in the church knows about it. She does not know how to brag at all! She serves in the Sunday school, sourcing books and devising curriculum and teaches a class regularly for 7 years since the founding of the church until now. Many would have been burned out by now. Not a word of complaint found in her lips.

The best-kept secret is that she is a better preacher and communicator than her preacher husband. Many think so highly of her husband but not many know that she is the better half. She is the source of his strength. Every time when he is deflated when discouragement of ministry sets in, she is always there listening, cajoling, spurring him to move on. Her husband grew from strength to strength. She is the woman behind his every success. Today her husband is respected at the church gate where he takes his seat among the bishops of the land (Prov. 31:23). She makes her man looks good.

This is the woman who is suffering from Parkinson disease. Does she yearn for divine healing? In quiet confidence, she looks to her God for mercy, grace and strength. Despite illness, she goes about quietly serving God, loving others. She watches over the affairs of her household, she watches over the affairs of God’s household, she watches over the affairs of her business. She does not allow her ‘immobility’ to immobilize her. She may be slow in her movement; she is fast in her thinking and in doing good to others.

How do I know so much about his ‘super woman’? She happens to be the wife of noble character that God gifted me.

Sarah and Sam arise to and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.

“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”


Sarah said...

Go Mum!!! I agree with every word you said, Dad. We're extremely blessed to have her.

It's interesting - what you wrote about the Proverbs 31 lady. Coincidently, I started making this Proverbs 31 lady my long-term personal analysis project since last month. You can't blame me - you can just imagine the instant bonding we have over the color purple. What can I say? Purple is just the best color in the world, in all utter biasness!

On a different note, Happy Birthday, Dad!!! I love you.

ShU said...

Happy Lunar New Year! When you're in Singapore, you can call me at 9755-4662.. although I might be in KL... *smiles*

Sharon Amrita said...

Yeah, Constance' steadfast spirit, cool disposition and big heart for people has been a trememendous encouragement and blessing to both YY & me.

She's certainly a role model of someone who gives her all and her best to God and His people.

We pray for God's divine healing and double portion of blessing.

Veron said...

behind every successful man, there is a woman of great faith and character... She is that..

A true inspiration for us girls to follow...

May the Lord's blessings be upon her today and always...

Aunty Constance you ROCK!

~ Jules ~ said...

I used to think that the "Proverbs 31 woman" was only found in THOSE days, and doesn't belong in this century. How flawed my thinking is.

Yes, Aunty Constance personifies a wonderful example of woman living to glorify her God in all she does.

I echo Veron's call: Aunty Constance REALLY rocks!