Low Hong Ping talks about inspiration, miracles and being a person.
First of all, let’s get the pronunciation right. “Vujicic” is pronounced vooey-cheech. Say it out loud: vooey-cheech. Calling his name correctly is the first thing we should do in honour of the man himself. After all, it is who he is, with all his apparent shortcomings and the way he sees those as part of God’s unmistakably perfect creation which draws hundreds of millions to him.
I’m blessed to have had the chance to see Nick Vujicic share his testimony live. Although I could not capture his peace, passion and purpose with words better than the videos already on the internet, on that night he said some lines that got me thinking. During the event, my elder sister who was accompanying me also asked questions that got me searching deep into my heart for answers.
Before Nick Vujicic appeared on the stage, we were shown a video about his life, how he went through his childhood and the activities that he can do: soccer, golf, swimming and riding a horse! While watching it, my sister asked, “Would you want his life?”
Though I have limbs, and pretty long ones for that matter, my body is nearly wholly without strength, save for my right hand’s biceps and fingers and my neck which can still support my head. And whatever that’s left in my tank is deteriorating by the moment. When people put me on a chair, they have to adjust my posture so that I’m steadily upright. Compared to Nick who has upper body ability and who can actually walk, it wasn’t far-fetched and disagreeable for my sister, while watching Nick manoeuvre a boat, to put her arm around me and say, “I think your case is worse than him.”
Vujicic is beaming with joy in the video. His verve – as he likes to call his character – emanates from a satisfaction of living with purpose, a purpose which makes his life, again in his own words, ridiculously good, and a purpose that sends him to almost all corners of the world. That purpose is to inspire people to believe this: If God doesn’t give you the miracle you’re praying for, then be a miracle for somebody else.
I can’t play soccer, dive into water or be a horse-rider, but I do beam with joy. I smile when my friends are around me. I giggle when they (with me) act mischievously. And I laugh when they crack jokes, sometimes forcibly if the jokes are really lame. I’m loved by family and educators who have always believed in me. I’m happy when I return their belief by achieving decent academic results, and more importantly, by learning to be wise. And I’m having a good life, writing tales for the world to read and being a miracle to those who see me get back up every time I’ve been knocked down in health and studies.
His happiness resonated with me when I watched the video. Though I may be worse than him, my life is not less meaningful than his. On my birthday last year, my sister had said to me before that she wouldn’t want her life any other way; she still wants me as her brother in the next life.
Likewise, I wouldn’t want anyone else’s life either.
But believing that God has plans to prosper me raises an interesting question. Nick said that he has a pair of shoes in his wardrobe just in case the miracle suddenly happens. It triggered me to think on what I’d done to prepare myself for the miracle if indeed it is within God’s plan, and I realised that I’d done nothing. In fact, I’d never seriously thought about what I would do if I was physically healed.
When I was asked by a newsletter writer what I would do if I were given three days of being physically-abled, I turned the question around by saying that even if God had shown me the struggles I would face, I would still choose to live this life, because of the people that God would send to care for me. This has become one of my life principles.
Although it sounds like I have accepted my circumstances, evading the question of what I would do if I was able could also mean that I actually dared not believe that I can be healed. Saying that I want to live this life is actually a convenient answer to fall back on.
And so Nick’s pair of shoes lured me to momentarily step into where I dared not venture.
If I was healed, I would first group hug my mum, dad and sister, crying for hours maybe. Then I’d find my friends, starting from my two best friends from secondary school. Being serious men, I would probably shake their hands, but then emotions would draw us to embrace each other. Then I’d turn to my Form 6 classmates from whom I’d want to learn how to stay up till the wee hours of the morning and see what they do in mamaks, cybercafés and pubs. We brothers would then have a valid reason to be emo. And finally to my law batchmates, one of whom I’d have the chance to look down on while I was standing to see how short she is, and then I’d squat to come eye-to-eye with her and say, “Your dream has come true.”
While this dream is heartbreakingly beautiful, shared and felt by those close to me, reality as it is is also beautiful, and what my family and friends have done for me and with me is as true a love as the word may mean.
When Nick’s talk ended and people were leaving the sanctuary, many of them looked at me for a split second longer than strangers would. Their stares at me were unusually more gentle and with more warmth. Maybe Nick had positively done something inside of them and so changed their perception on the disabled. Or maybe because of what my sister said, this time certainly far-fetched and arguable:
“They look at you as if you were the second Nick.”
P.S. — Happy birthday, jie!
Featured image taken from Nick Vujicic’s Facebook page.