The illness progressed through the night - so much so that the next morning I was in pain every time I moved. By the time I dropped off Vince and got to work, I was a mess. I couldn't eat or drink, and the mere thought of food churned my stomach. I spent the entire day like this, unable to do anything to alleviate the pain.
I offered it to God for whatever reason He had decided I was to experience this. I did it poorly, though. I complained and I dragged myself instead of being cheerful I had been given this gift. I offered it to Him nonetheless, and around the middle of the day I realized why God had gifted me this illness.
The last week or so, I'd been seriously troubled with the whole "starving children" problem we've got going on in the world. I wanted to fast in order to unite myself to their suffering. I kept saying to God, "Look, I'll give up my lunch if you pass it along to a child who really needs it." I believe He did.
However, I was never good at fasting well. Even during Lent, I sucked at it. This illness, however, gave me a very real appreciation for both hunger and thirst. I wasn't able to eat or drink anything for about 24 hours. Even now it's difficult to take more than a few swigs of water and a piece of bread. But in this brief span of time, I better understood the plight of those children who deal with this every day, for weeks, months and years at a time. It breaks my heart that these children are forced to walk around as skeletons, in pain and feeling so desolate.
Upon this realization I thanked God for the gift of this illness, and apologized for my weak and ungrateful acceptance of it. Even in my ungratefulness, however, He was kind enough to make me understand the reason for such a gift. If nothing else, I'll be redoubling my fasting efforts and doing more to spread the word to help end childhood hunger... we need to do better than this!