Pange Lingua Gloriosi!


I don’t know why God preserved me. There were so many encounters with death, but each time, God came to my rescue and carried me back to life. He saved me in so many ways, always in a dramatic style. But my favorite one is when he sent me the bible he has prepared just for me.

This is how I came to believe that all things written in the bible were true. I accepted the truth of Jesus and His living presence and the kingdom of heaven because of this version of the bible that I have. One hallucinating day, on the verge of losing my sanity, I opened page 1980 in the bible right next to my bed (1980 is the year I was born. I was into numerology then). It was the one given by my ex-husband.

“They say bible is the book of life, so maybe there is a record about my life, too.” I needed anything to validate the reason of my being. I was so close to death. I opened page 1980, but it opened not one of the scriptures, but an editorial page, an introduction to the book of Galatians. The editor wrote: “A family, executing their carefully planned escape at midnight, dashing for the border… a man standing outside prison walls, gulping fresh air, awash in the new sun… a young woman with every trace of the ravaging drug gone from her system… they are FREE!” 

I thought I was going to have a heart attack the moment I read about the young woman. I knew that woman was me. It was evident that some magnificent, all-powerful existence was out there looking after me. That supernatural existence chose the bible as a tool, so everything recored in the book must be true. That would mean that Jesus did walk on earth, and resurrected and will come again to collect us humans to bring back home with him. Heaven and hell must be real, and God did create the world in the beginning and made Adam and Eve. I was both in fear and bliss beyond imagination. The fact that my brain and all my other systems were already messed up with every trace of the ravaging drug didn’t help. Somehow I survive. Then I continued to survive for years after that.

I’ve always struggled with my low self-esteem issue, but really, I don’t know why God preserved me. I do not have much to offer this world, his creation, one that He risked His own son, Jesus Christ for. For example, when I read about David Foster Wallace who committed suicide by hanging himself in 2008, I couldn’t help but ask, Mr. Wallace could do so much more than I am doing had he lived. He was a novelist, and a professor. He lived through the publications of his works, and continued to evolve throughout his academic career. Yet he had a big problem. He had depression. Depression stole his life in the end.

I know that there was no way I could have survived what I suffered from without the bible and its page 1980. It was the ultimate key to open the door to life. But what about Mr. Wallace? And what about my distant aunt in Florida who killed herself year ago after her life-long suffering of depression? What about my high school classmate who became a famous actress but soon committed suicide by hanging herself in her own closet? We all suffered from depression. The difference is that I have lived through many dangerous episodes of depression and they didn’t. God performed so many wonders and miracles to preserve me. I can’t even recount them all here. But didn’t He do the same to preserve those that I just mentioned? I have no doubt He could come up with something way, way more creative than that page 1980 story.

For whatever reason, here I am, still breathing and more alive than ever. I know I am being futile dwelling on this issue. The thing is, life is not problematic. And if you have difficulty believing my words, maybe it would help if I tell you that I am quoting Montaigne. For Montaigne, our existence is unproblematic: the question is our ability to appreciate it; to savour and taste it, to bring it near.

So it seems that I was making a grave mistake of doubting the worth of my being -not the first time, either. – I was attempting to prove my existence, a Descartes trait. From my own experiences, I know this to be a trait that brings out a very fatal result.

Sitting among the Sunday worship crowd, I quietly asked God while praying at the chapel. Why did you save me? Why did you preserve me, Father? Immediately, I felt the intense desire for my existence from the Holy Father penetrating my heart. It was coming directly from the Cross I was meditating on as I was praying and asking softly that big question about the reason of my existence. The proof of how much He desired me was hanging on the Cross.

I thought to myself,

     ‘I would love to treat you as my own children!’ 

I wanted nothing more than to give you this beautiful land–

     the finest possession in the world.   

I looked forward to your calling me ‘Father,’

     and I wanted you never to turn from me.

                                           – Jeremiah 3:19

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Nicholas says:

    “The proof of how much He desired me was hanging on the Cross.” Beautifully said, lilyboat. And what a lovely and fitting quotation from Jeremiah!

  2. lilyboat says:

    It really spoke to my heart few days ago so I had been deeply meditating on that scripture. I loved how He speaks so plainly and clearly about the desires of His. Nothing more than to give us this beautiful land and to hear us calling Him “Father”!

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