It’s been 6 years.

Nearly 6 years ago I collapsed at work with a high fever (41 cels) and paralyzed on the right side, which was to cause me to be hospitalized for 52 days. I was later diagnosed with Viral Encephalitis. The journey of recovery has been a long one. The virus ravaged my health, strength, vitality and in many ways my faith. 

I actually had forgotten the anniversary of it till now.. which happened on the 17th October 2007. I was outside reflecting on an encounter with a friend who was talking to me about an significant experience we both had shared and I listened with some uneasiness about the story he shared with me. The story was a good one and by all accounts should have been something I remembered well as it happened only 7 years ago. But, alas, the memory just was not there. 

One of the effects of the virus was that it gave me partial amnesia. There are parts of my memory which have simply disappeared. They no longer exist for me. There are things I have done both on a individual and communal basis – conversations and experiences with family and friends. Some of the memories involve happy and fun times, while others involve things of a serious nature…take for instance the time I asked my in laws when they had refurbished their kitchen which looked new – to be told it was 3 years before and I had been there when they did it… to the other extreme where I asked a friend how his sisters child was doing – only to be informed the child had drowned many years before hand. 

This caused me to fear asking questions for I was never sure if I would embarrass my self or not. Then I made it into a game of self discovery of lets find out what it is I once knew, but have forgotten I knew. But the problem with relearning things about myself in the process is that the memory is always gone.. factual information replaces the experimental memory of that experience. In a nut shell, there is a huge part of self that has just gone away and its truly a weird experience. 6 years later I am either finding that this occurrence of self discovery is happening less and less or I don’t notice it as much. But there are times when it comes out of the blue; like it did with my mate the other day, and it actually rocked me for 6…excuse the pun. 

The other area of memory which I was knocked about in was my short term memory. I don’t remember phone numbers very well and even now, I can’t tell you my home number without looking it up on my phone and nor do I handle lists, names, facts and figures very well. 

6 years ago I was fit, strong and healthy. I was able to carry a new born calf on my shoulders some distance or physically work 10 – 12 hours a day. Today my balance is not that great – though I no longer have to use a walking stick to walk with. I have a fair amount of mobility, but my core strength is no longer there. I tire easy and perhaps even tend towards being more depressive then I once was. 

However, I rejoice also that while my faith has been knocked about and shattered and is no longer what it used to be- I have in its place found that my faith in God through Christ, in the power of the Spirit has strengthed, deepened, widened and in many ways has less pat black and white answers with more room for grey then ever before. 


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About Craig Benno

I'm an average aussie guy who has lived perhaps a not so average life.
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23 Responses to It’s been 6 years.

  1. David McKay says:

    Thanks for sharing your story, Craig.

  2. Tiribulus says:

    Craig my heart aches for the things you’ve been through man. Truly it does and I would not ever want to be perceived as being insensitive or making like of that , but this…

    “However, I rejoice also that while my faith has been knocked about and shattered and is no longer what it used to be- I have in its place found that my faith in God through Christ, in the power of the Spirit has strengthened, deepened, widened and in many ways has less pat black and white answers with more room for grey then ever before. “

    …is not not progress. WHAT has happened to the church of Jesus Christ when doubt, uncertainty and nuanced grey, which are utterly denounced in the Christian scriptures is celebrated as spiritual growth? I hope you can believe that I mean you no ill by this comment.

  3. Tiribulus says:

    Craig says: “I have never held a Calvinist view Greg and am more firmly convinced of the errors of that system today.”
    How long have you been drooling over that Godless whore mongering dialectic heretic Karl Barth?

  4. Tiribulus says:

    How long have you been salivating over (drooling was actually YOUR word) a man who carried on a 35 year live in relationship with another woman while his tormented wife languished so he could write 14 volumes of unbiblical philosophy?

    Is that better? Unless you can answer my 2 questions that for 25 years I’ve never gotten an answer to.

    • Craig Benno says:

      Greg, and Calvin burnt someone at the stake..but you still love him.
      Luther starved someone down in the dungeon but we still love him as the father of the reformation.
      And I still love you, even though your an obnoxious prat sometimes. 😉

      I think Barth has written some great stuff over the years, whether you like him or not – he is an important theologian for today….and yes, I truly would like his set of Dogmatics, to sit on my shelf beside Calvin’s Institutes, even though I don’t like much of his system of thinking – even Calvin still has many pearls of wisdom to think on.

  5. Tiribulus says:

    If the scriptures are the standard? No. I do not believe Barth was saved. http://tiribulus.net/wordpress/?p=99#comment-262 Also put my comment you deleted on that page as well. Actually, that page was one of the major areas between Father Robert and I if you scroll way up. (There’s a couple others) You and I also define grace very differently. This is another modernistic novelty. Paul pronounced his wish of accidental castration and the curse of God upon men for the mere crime of advancing circumcision. I wonder what he would’ve said about Barth? (Actually I don’t)

    Grace is for those outside the church. Anathemas are for heretics. Theological OR moral. Barth is both. UNLESS you can answer my decades long standing questions I asked Father Robert like 85 times and and still have to this moment never gotten answers. From ANYone. Not just him. I challenge you to make the attempt. It would be most instructive. I mean that sincerely. You might…. MIGHT, even see my point. Could happen ya know.

    On a lighter note. “Waffle” must be some Aussie colloquialism with which I am entirely unfamiliar. The only waffles I know are a diabetic coma on a plate with butter and syrup. 😀

  6. David McKay says:

    I think we can learn from theologians and biblical scholars who have a less than orthodox faith, but we do need to be wary. I do wonder about the value of reading mountains of Barth, but I know others think it is valuable.

    • Craig Benno says:

      David. I guess it depends on our interpretation of “Orthodox” faith. “The “Orthodox” don’t recognize a lot of evangelical / reformed faith as having much in common with their own.

      As you know I am not Calvinistic in my personal theology. But I still have his institutes on my shelf – actually they are on the computer…. but I digress.

      I have a number of works by Grudem, Grenz, Piper, Carson, Fee, Bonhoffer and some Orthodox stuff whose names escape me right now.

      I don’t have anything of Barth’s in my library and to round it out more, I would love to have his set of dogmatic’s.

  7. Dave Black says:

    “However, I rejoice also that while my faith has been knocked about and shattered and is no longer what it used to be- I have in its place found that my faith in God through Christ, in the power of the Spirit has strengthed, deepened, widened and in many ways has less pat black and white answers with more room for grey then ever before.”

    This is a wonderful testimony, Craig. Thank you for sharing with us your thoughts about your personal journey.

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