Restlessness

 

I met a woman in the UST hospital three years ago. We were assigned rooms there for our class in Special Questions in Ethics, particularly on the topic on the Ethics of Health Care, and for us to have a background of how it is to experience a Clinical Pastoral Exposure (CPE). I was designated to a granny who suffered internal bleeding when she bumped her head a little during a slip in the staircase. She has many loved ones who visits her without fail and takes care of her, especially her granddaughter who is a nurse at another hospital. We conversed almost every day about granny’s life, a little about mine and my vocation, and how she raised her children and grandchildren living at their house. However, she diverted the attention, perhaps already filled with love, to the woman sharing her room.

The woman, as granny narrated, is restless, literally, without sleep for almost two weeks straight. I couldn’t talk to her; they said she was crazy that she’d hear a lot of buzzing sounds, murmurs and whispers to be exact, of someone dear to her. She would cry but in a snap would laugh like a rapid mood swing. I tried to talk but she was extremely indifferent that I felt I don’t even exist. The nurse told me she was battered, visible through her wounds, and left by her husband. No one visits her, at least in those times when I come to see granny. And all I can feel is her restlessness, her miserable longing for love, which I assume is the thing that made her endure her husband’s cruelty in return for his stay. If only she can feel how God too restlessly knocks at her indifference, at her terrible anguish.

Restlessness is not only us seeking after love, after God, but also God constantly reaching for us, knocking at our hearts. In the end it’s about a grand-scaled drama of restlessness between our relationship with God, a drama of fleeing and seeking, but also of returning.  But what is this drama for if not for the love that we both give and receive, that we invest yet share – the love that fuels this restlessness in us?

 

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