One of the things that will stand out for many of us from our recent church camp at Bagan Lalang was our sister Chew Peng unsuccessful attempt at riding a bicycle. She had a bad fall and her condition was a cause of great concern; especially the weakness on one side, slurred speech and unresponsiveness. Church members reacted quickly to send her to hospital while other brothers and sisters gathered in small groups to pray for God’s grace and protection for Chew Peng. While they were still praying for her, her condition improved substantially and most of the worrying symptoms began to disappear about 15 minutes into her journey to the hospital to the great relief of those accompanying her. We must acknowledge that God in His goodness and love had His protective and healing hand over Chew Peng and we have to praise Him and thank Him for this miracle.
Since then, many have been to visit her both at hospital and later at home. The doctors were surprised that her injuries while not minor, have not turned out to be as severe as they had initially feared and certainly they found nothing that would explain Chew Peng’s earlier condition. Anyway, Chew Peng has been told to lie flat as much as possible, wear a medical equivalent of a corset for back support and daily physiotherapy which they cheerfully call “gym”. So how is our patient? Recovering well but bored, bored and bored! Despite being told not to worry about the church newsletter, Chew Peng still managed to push people for articles and contributions (with Chui Thean’s help) and personally typed up the newsletter within that first week of “lying flat”.
Here is her own account and reflection of the Big Bagan Lalang Bike Blunder written from her bedside ;
WHAT IS GOD TELLING ME? I texted Yoke Kuan when she asked how I was after my fall from the bicycle Day 2 at camp. Since then, I’ve had loads of time to reflect on this. The thought of falling must have passed my mind when I decided against taking my phone with me to rent bicycles from Hotel Seri Malaysia with Mei Ling and Esther (I didn’t want to drop my phone!). I changed into my shorts, put RM10 in my pocket, relishing the thought of cycling to the beach and stopping by for a cuppa.
My cycling comeback saw a rude and undignified end after a 2 minute practice run in front of the hotel when I used my legs to stop my cycling, then remembered braking should be done using the hand pedals by which time I had swerved into the big flower pot and landed on my back.
I recall lying on the tarmac, unable to get up after hearing/feeling something on my back. I didn’t realise how pucat I had turned, how immobile I was, how my left hand had weakened and how profusely I was sweating, according to Siew Choo, Mei Ling and the others who had come to my rescue. They decided I should be admitted and, like magic, Sung Wah and his Esteema, appeared and I, like royalty on my rattan throne, was carried into my carriage for that long ride to Serdang Hospital.
Never did I think I was not going back to camp – wouldn’t I be treated, bandaged and be able to rejoin camp?
How was I to know I had fractured my Lumbar 3, bruised my left kidney and possibly suffered a stroke (although the brain scans showed no signs)? How could a short cycling spree cause so much damage? An ex-colleague, however, reminded me we’re no spring chickens. I told Min Fook not to challenge the over 50s to get out of our comfort zones!
I’m still kind of dazed. God had the humor to let me dream a few nights later of a cycling trip where I was on a tandem bike, except that the 2 bikes were side by side, not one behind the other. Some way down the slope, the 2 bikes separated and I, on the smaller bike, went downhill but landed safe and sound! Maybe that was God’s way of reassuring me it’s ok, He’ll keep me safe.
So, what has God been telling me? – Kam Weng had said in Jeremiah 1:8 that God will rescue (yes, there will be trouble but He will rescue). And He did! God is showing me the depth and width of His love through the glorious body of believers. I’m spoilt for all the care and attention I’m getting – from BGC, my friends, neighbors, family and yes, even strangers.
I’m more sympathetic of my mum’s condition. Now I know what it is like to be immobile, not to want to drink too much water to save the hassle of going to the toilet, worry when the bowels don’t move, worry about the nausea that comes when I’ve been lying flat in bed too long… I’m reminded of Jesus who became man so that He could identify with and understand our human frailties.
I’ve always found it challenging to sing the song “And I thank you Lord for the trials that come my way” and “God is good all the time”. I think it’s gotten just a wee bit easier as I think of the love He’s showing and the assurance that He is God – our sovereign, loving God who knows and is in control of all.
But I won’t be cycling no more. So, Mei Ling, you go look for younger folks, ok?