When my dad learned of his fatal diagnosis, all the theology he acquired during his entire career of ministry was not sufficient. He found himself in another reality existentially and the effect of the diagnosis on his affective dimension was beyond his grasp. It was real and it was so different. And the incongruency of both realities (his theology and his state of existence) was devastating. My dad evoked the power of God like he had never done before. He told all of us to pray not that God’s will be done but that his (my dad’s) be done. He told us to wrestle like Jacob with the angel and never let go until God promises to bless (to heal). Till the end of his journey, he did not change God’s mind (or the inevitable event, the natural progression of his illness). God was able to change my dad’s mind.
I have come to an experiential recognition of the power of metaphysics in the face of crisis. One of the comical scene from the animation “Mulan” captures this well when the ancestors were evoked in order to assist Mulan in her dangerous and adventurous journey. Somehow in the presence of unexplainable trauma, we human find it necessary to bring in transcendence for possible explanation. Often because we view the unexplainable from the immanent horizontal perspective. From this stand point, the unexplainable remains unexplainable. The only other possible variable for explanation is the vertical/transcendental dimension. I believe this situation takes place because life definition and trauma do not go hand-in-hand. Perhaps its because often within our existential definition of life, there is no room for trauma. Hence when these two elements become conflicted, we have to find an alternative. And the alternative is often the attempt at changing the natural law to fit the definition of life instead of changing the definition of life to fit the law of nature (birth, sickness, and death as the inevitable). So we evoke the metaphysics. The question is, when the Metaphysical is awaken, will the law of nature be changed to fit our definition of life or vice versa?