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  • There is some medical news that nobody, absolutely nobody,

    譯者: Regina Chu 審譯者: Marssi Draw

  • is prepared to hear.

    有些健康檢查消息是沒有人,

  • I certainly wasn't.

    絕對沒有人準備好要聽的。

  • It was three years ago that I got a call in my office

    至少我沒有準備好。

  • with the test results of a recent scan.

    三年前,

  • I was 35 and finally living the life I wanted.

    我在辦公室接到一通電話,

  • I married my high school sweetheart

    通知我剛做過的掃描結果。

  • and had finally gotten pregnant after years of infertility.

    那時我 35 歲, 終於過著自己想要的生活。

  • And then suddenly we had a Zach,

    我嫁給從高中就開始交往的男朋友,

  • a perfect one-year-old boy/dinosaur,

    多年不孕之後終於懷孕了。

  • depending on his mood.

    然後突然我們就有了查克,

  • And having a Zach suited me perfectly.

    完美無瑕的一歲男寶寶/恐龍,

  • I had gotten the first job I applied for in academia,

    看他那天的心情如何。

  • land of a thousand crushed dreams.

    有查克太適合我了。

  • And there I was,

    我拿到了之前申請 學術界的第一份工作,

  • working at my dream job

    那可是充滿了破碎的夢的地方。

  • with my little baby

    我居然在那裡,

  • and the man I had imported from Canada.

    做著我的夢想工作,

  • (Laughter)

    還有個小寶寶,

  • But a few months before, I'd started feeling pain in my stomach

    還有我從加拿大進口的男人。

  • and had gone to every expert to find out why.

    (笑聲)

  • No one could tell me.

    但是幾個月前,我開始有點胃痛,

  • And then, out of the blue,

    遍訪專家要找出原因。

  • some physician's assistant called me at work

    沒有人能告訴我為什麼。

  • to tell me that I had stage IV cancer,

    然後,晴天霹靂,

  • and that I was going to need to come to the hospital right away.

    有位醫師助理 打電話到我工作的地方,

  • And all I could think of to say was,

    說我得了末期癌症,

  • "But I have a son.

    還說我要立刻就醫。

  • I can't end.

    而我能想到要說的只有:

  • This world can't end.

    「可是我有個兒子。

  • It has just begun."

    我不能死。

  • And then I called my husband, and he rushed to find me

    這個世界不能結束。

  • and I said all the true things that I have known.

    它才剛開始。」

  • I said, "I have loved you forever,

    然後我打電話給我先生, 他趕過來找我,

  • I have loved you forever.

    我對他說了所有我知道的真話,

  • I am so sorry.

    我說:「我愛你愛了一輩子,

  • Please take care of our son."

    我愛你愛了一輩子。

  • And then as I began the walk to the hospital,

    對不起。

  • it crossed my mind for the first time,

    請照顧我們的兒子。」

  • "Oh. How ironic."

    然後,在我開始走路去醫院時,

  • I had just written a book called "Blessed."

    有件事第一次閃過我的腦海,

  • (Laughter)

    喔。多諷刺啊!

  • I am a historian

    我才剛剛寫了一本書,叫《蒙福》。

  • and an expert in the idea that good things happen to good people.

    (笑聲)

  • I research a form of Christianity nicknamed "the prosperity gospel,"

    我是歷史學家,

  • for its very bold promise that God wants you to prosper.

    而且是「好人有好報」 這個想法的專家。

  • I never considered myself a follower of the prosperity gospel.

    我研究一種基督教義, 暱稱「成功神學」,

  • I was simply an observer.

    它非常大膽的承諾說神想要你成功。

  • The prosperity gospel believes that God wants to reward you

    我從來不認為自己是 成功神學的信徒。

  • if you have the right kind of faith.

    我只是觀察者。

  • If you're good and faithful,

    成功神學相信神要獎賞你,

  • God will give you health and wealth

    因為你有正確的信仰。

  • and boundless happiness.

    如果你良善又忠心,

  • Life is like a boomerang:

    神會賜你健康及財富,

  • if you're good,

    還有無窮盡的快樂。

  • good things will always come back to you.

    生命就像迴力鏢:

  • Think positively. Speak positively.

    如果你良善,

  • Nothing is impossible if you believe.

    美好的事物就會回到你身上。

  • I got interested in this very American theology

    思考要正向。說話也要正向。

  • when I was 18 or so,

    只要你相信,什麼都有可能。

  • and by 25 I was traveling the country interviewing its celebrities.

    我開始對這種 非常美式的神學產生興趣,

  • I spent a decade talking to televangelists

    那時我十八歲左右,

  • with spiritual guarantees for divine money.

    二十五歲前,我已經在這個國家 四處訪問這方面的名人。

  • I interviewed countless megachurch pastors with spectacular hair

    我花了十年的時間與電視佈道家談論

  • about how they live their best lives now.

    靈命如何保證屬天財富。

  • I visited with people in hospital waiting rooms

    我訪談了無數位大教會的牧師, 他們的髮型都好棒,

  • and plush offices.

    談論他們如何在現在 活出最美好的人生。

  • I held hands with people in wheelchairs,

    我去探訪在醫院等候室的人,

  • praying to be cured.

    還有超豪華辦公室裡的人。

  • I earned my reputation as destroyer of family vacations

    我握著坐輪椅的人的手,

  • for always insisting on being dropped off at the fanciest megachurch in town.

    禱告他們得醫治。

  • If there was a river running through the sanctuary,

    我贏得「聲譽」, 被稱為家庭度假摧毀者,

  • an eagle flying freely in the auditorium,

    因為我總是堅持要去當地 最漂亮的大教會坐坐。

  • or an enormous spinning golden globe,

    只要那裡有小溪穿過教堂,

  • I was there.

    有老鷹在會堂裡自由飛翔,

  • When I first started studying this, the whole idea of being "blessed"

    或是有個超大的旋轉金球,

  • wasn't what it is today.

    我都會出現。

  • It was not, like it is now,

    我開始研究這個的時候, 「領受祝福」這件事

  • an entire line of "#blessed" home goods.

    跟今天完全不一樣。

  • It was not yet a flood of "#blessed" vanity license plates and T-shirts

    那時,不像現在,

  • and neon wall art.

    沒有整個「#蒙福」(#blessed) 系列的家居用品。

  • I had no idea that "blessed" would become one of the most common cultural cliches,

    那時也沒有「#蒙福」 客製汽車牌照及短袖汗衫

  • one of the most used hashtags on Instagram,

    及霓虹壁貼裝飾。

  • to celebrate barely there bikini shots,

    我完全不知道「蒙福」會成為 被說到爛的文化陳詞,

  • as if to say, "I am so blessed.

    被用到爛的 Instagram 主題標籤,

  • Thank you, Jesus, for this body."

    被拿來讚揚清涼比基尼照,

  • (Laughter)

    好像在說:「我真蒙福。

  • I had not yet fully grasped the way that the prosperity gospel

    感謝耶穌給我這樣的身體。」

  • had become the great civil religion,

    (笑聲)

  • offering another transcendent account

    我還沒有完全掌握到成功神學

  • of the core of the American Dream.

    怎麼變成全民信仰,

  • Rather than worshipping the founding of America itself,

    給予美國夢的中心思想 另一個超然的根據。

  • the prosperity gospel worshipped Americans.

    成功神學不是崇拜創建美國這件事,

  • It deifies and ritualizes their hungers,

    而是崇拜美國人。

  • their hard work and moral fiber.

    它神化及儀式化美國人的渴望、

  • Americans believe in a gospel of optimism,

    勤奮及道德品質。

  • and they are their own proof.

    美國人信仰樂觀的福音,

  • But despite telling myself,

    而他們自身就是證明。

  • "I'm just studying this stuff, I'm nothing like them,"

    但是儘管我告訴自己

  • when I got my diagnosis,

    「我只是研究這玩意, 我跟他們不一樣,」

  • I suddenly understood how deeply invested I was

    當我得到診斷報告時,

  • in my own Horatio Alger theology.

    我才突然明白我有多投入

  • If you live in this culture, whether you are religious or not,

    我自己的霍瑞修·愛爾傑 努力就會成功的神學。

  • it is extremely difficult to avoid falling into the trap

    如果你住在這個文化裡, 不管你有沒有信仰,

  • of believing that virtue and success go hand in hand.

    都很難避免掉入

  • The more I stared down my diagnosis,

    美德與成功肩並肩的思想陷阱裡。

  • the more I recognized that I had my own quiet version

    我愈盯著自己的診斷,

  • of the idea that good things happen to good people.

    就愈認清原來我自己

  • Aren't I good?

    對好人有好報這個想法 有一個低調的版本。

  • Aren't I special somehow?

    我不是很良善嗎?

  • I have committed zero homicides

    我不是還算特別嗎?

  • to date.

    我還沒犯過謀殺罪,

  • (Laughter)

    至少到目前為止!

  • (Applause)

    (笑聲)

  • So why is this happening to me?

    (掌聲)

  • I wanted God to make me good

    所以這怎麼會發生在我身上?

  • and to reward my faith with just a few shining awards along the way.

    我希望上帝讓我變得良善,

  • OK, like, a lot of shining awards.

    並因我的信心而能 一路得幾個光輝的獎賞。

  • (Laughter)

    好吧,我承認,很多光輝的獎賞。

  • I believed that hardships were only detours

    (笑聲)

  • on what I was certain would be my long, long life.

    我相信苦難只是讓我在

  • As is this case with many of us, it's a mindset that served me well.

    無庸置疑的漫漫人生中繞個路罷了。

  • The gospel of success drove me to achieve,

    就像大多數人一樣, 這種心態對我很有幫助。

  • to dream big,

    成功神學驅使我有成就,

  • to abandon fear.

    作遠大的夢,

  • It was a mindset that served me well

    放下恐懼。

  • until it didn't,

    這種心態對我很有幫助,

  • until I was confronted with something I couldn't manage my way out of;

    直到無用為止,

  • until I found myself saying into the phone,

    直到我面對自己無力解決的問題,

  • "But I have a son,"

    直到我發現自己對著電話說:

  • because it was all I could think of to say.

    「可是我還有個兒子,」

  • That was the most difficult moment to accept:

    因為那是我唯一能想到的話。

  • the phone call, the walk to the hospital,

    那是最難接受的時刻:

  • when I realized that my own personal prosperity gospel

    那通電話,去醫院的路,

  • had failed me.

    在我明瞭我個人的成功神學版本

  • Anything I thought was good or special about me could not save me --

    讓我大失所望的時候。

  • my hard work, my personality,

    我自認自己還不錯或特別的部分

  • my humor, my perspective.

    都不能拯救我——

  • I had to face the fact that my life is built with paper walls,

    我勤奮的工作,我的人格,

  • and so is everyone else's.

    我的幽默,我的觀點。

  • It is a hard thought to accept that we are all a breath away

    我不得不面對事實: 我的人生是紙牆糊的,

  • from a problem that could destroy something irreplaceable

    別人的也一樣。

  • or alter our lives completely.

    我們很難接受這個想法, 就是在瞬息之間,

  • We know that in life there are befores and afters.

    某個難處就會摧毀無可取代的事物,

  • I am asked all the time to say that I would never go back,

    或完全改變我們的生活。

  • or that I've gained so much in perspective.

    我們都知道人生有 「以前」和「以後」。

  • And I tell them no,

    我總是被期待要說 「我永遠不會回頭,」

  • before was better.

    或「我學到很多。」

  • A few months after I got sick, I wrote about this

    而我都會跟他們說 「不是這樣,以前更好。」

  • and then I sent it off to an editor at the "New York Times."

    我生病後幾個月,我寫下這個,

  • In retrospect, taking one of the most vulnerable moments of your life

    然後送給紐約時報的某位編輯。

  • and turning into an op-ed

    現在回想起來,

  • is not an amazing way to feel less vulnerable.

    把人生最脆弱的時刻寫成專欄,

  • (Laughter)

    好像也不是讓自己 感覺不那麼脆弱的好方法。

  • I got thousands of letters and emails.

    (笑聲)

  • I still get them every day.

    我收到無數封信件及電郵。

  • I think it is because of the questions I asked.

    現在我每天還是會收到。

  • I asked: How do you live without quite so many reasons

    我想這是因為我問的問題。

  • for the bad things that happen?

    我問:你要怎麼毫無疑問的活下去,

  • I asked: Would it be better to live without outrageous formulas

    如果壞事發生了?

  • for why people deserve what they get?

    我問:這樣會不會過得更好, 如果沒有太過分的公式

  • And what was so funny and so terrible was, of course,

    解釋為什麼人應得他們得到的?

  • I thought I asked people to simmer down

    最好玩也是最可怕的地方當然是

  • on needing an explanation for the bad things that happened.

    我以為我在請求大家平靜下來,

  • So what did thousands of readers do?

    不要再要求解釋為什麼壞事發生了。

  • Yeah, they wrote to defend the idea that there had to be a reason

    那麼千萬的讀者怎麼回應?

  • for what happened to me.

    對啊,他們寫信來捍衛這個想法,

  • And they really want me to understand the reason.

    就是發生在我身上的事一定有原因。

  • People want me to reassure them that my cancer is all part of a plan.

    他們真的要我去了解原因。

  • A few letters even suggested it was God's plan that I get cancer

    大家希望我向他們保證 我的癌症是計畫的一部分。

  • so I could help people by writing about it.

    有幾封信甚至暗示著 我得到癌症是神的計畫,

  • People are certain it is a test of my character

    所以我才能寫下來幫助別人。

  • or proof of something terrible I've done.

    人們確信這是對我性格的考驗,

  • They want me to know without a doubt

    或證明我做過可怕的事。

  • that there is a hidden logic to this seeming chaos.

    他們要我知道,毫無疑問,

  • They tell my husband,

    這看似混亂的背後 一定有個隱而未見的邏輯。

  • while I'm still in the hospital,

    他們對我先生說,

  • that everything happens for a reason,

    當時我還在醫院,

  • and then stammer awkwardly when he says,

    每件事發生都有理由,

  • "I'd love to hear it.

    然後他們只能支支吾吾, 因為他回說:

  • I'd love to hear the reason my wife is dying."

    「好啊,告訴我理由。

  • And I get it.

    我要聽我妻子邁向死亡的理由。」

  • We all want reasons.

    我恍然大悟。

  • We want formulas

    我們都想要理由。

  • to predict whether our hard work will pay off,

    我們要公式

  • whether our love and support will always make our partners happy

    預測努力是否有回報,

  • and our kids love us.

    預測我們的愛與支持 是否永遠都會讓另一半高興,

  • We want to live in a world in which not one ounce

    讓我們的孩子愛我們。

  • of our hard work or our pain or our deepest hopes will be for nothing.

    我們想要的世界裡,

  • We want to live in a world in which nothing is lost.

    每一分努力、每一分痛苦, 或最深切的希望都不是枉然。

  • But what I have learned in living with stage IV cancer

    我們想要的世界裡,沒有任何落空。

  • is that there is no easy correlation

    但是我在與末期癌症共存下學到,

  • between how hard I try

    我有多努力跟我的壽命 沒有簡單的關聯。

  • and the length of my life.

    過去三年,我經歷的痛苦與創傷,

  • In the last three years, I've experienced more pain and trauma

    比我想像能承受的多很多。

  • than I ever thought I could survive.

    有一天我突然發現 我開過這麼多次腹部手術,

  • I realized the other day that I've had so many abdominal surgeries

    我現在有第五個肚臍了,

  • that I'm on my fifth belly button,

    而且這個肚臍是我最不愛的。

  • and this last one is my least favorite.

    (笑聲)

  • (Laughter)

    但是同時,我也經歷了愛,

  • But at the same time, I've experienced love,

    好多愛,

  • so much love,

    很難解釋的愛。

  • love I find hard to explain.

    有一天,我在讀

  • The other day, I was reading the findings

    瀕臨死亡經驗研究基金會的發現,

  • of the Near Death Experience Research Foundation,

    沒錯,有這種東西。

  • and yes, there is such a thing.

    人們受訪談論他們 與死亡擦身而過的經驗。

  • People were interviewed about their brushes with death

    各種情況都有:

  • in all kinds of circumstances:

    車禍、生產、

  • car accidents, labor and delivery,

    自殺。

  • suicides.

    很多人都描述同樣一件怪事:

  • And many reported the same odd thing:

    愛。

  • love.

    我相信我會忽略這件事,

  • I'm sure I would have ignored it if it hadn't reminded me

    如果沒有某件親身經歷的事 喚醒我的記憶,

  • of something I had experienced,

    某件我覺得很難啟齒的事:

  • something I felt uncomfortable telling anyone:

    當時我相信自己快死了,

  • that when I was sure that I was going to die,

    我沒有生氣的感覺。

  • I didn't feel angry.

    我感受到被愛。

  • I felt loved.

    這是我所經歷過最超自然的事。

  • It was one of the most surreal things I have experienced.

    在我應該覺得被神遺棄的時刻,

  • In a time in which I should have felt abandoned by God,

    我沒有化為灰燼。

  • I was not reduced to ashes.

    我覺得自己好像漂浮著,

  • I felt like I was floating,

    漂浮在愛與禱告中——

  • floating on the love and prayers

    來自工蜂般嗡嗡圍繞著我的人——

  • of all those who hummed around me like worker bees,

    他們給我慰問卡、襪子和花,

  • bringing me notes and socks and flowers

    還有繡著鼓勵話語的拼布被。

  • and quilts embroidered with words of encouragement.

    但是當他們坐在我身邊,

  • But when they sat beside me,

    將我的手握在他們手中,

  • my hand in their hands,

    我自己的苦難開始更像是 別人的苦難向我顯明。

  • my own suffering began to feel like it had revealed to me

    我進入一個世界,裡面的人就像我,

  • the suffering of others.

    芸芸眾生被破碎的夢絆倒——

  • I was entering a world of people just like me,

    他們以為應得的夢——

  • people stumbling around in the debris

    還有他們沒有意識到 已經做的計畫。

  • of dreams they thought they were entitled to

    這是種莫名的感覺, 好像自己與別人更加連結,

  • and plans they didn't realize they had made.

    更感同身受。

  • It was a feeling of being more connected, somehow, with other people,

    那種感覺持續了好幾個月。

  • experiencing the same situation.

    事實上,我已經太習慣這種感覺,

  • And that feeling stayed with me for months.

    我開始恐慌可能會失去它。

  • In fact, I'd grown so accustomed to it

    所以我開始問朋友、神學家、 歷史學家,我喜歡的修女:

  • that I started to panic at the prospect of losing it.

    「那種愛的感覺沒有之後 我要怎麼辦?」

  • So I began to ask friends, theologians, historians, nuns I liked,

    他們都完全懂我在說什麼,

  • "What I am I going to do when that loving feeling is gone?"

    因為他們自己有親身經歷過,

  • And they knew exactly what I was talking about,

    或有讀過關於這方面的 基督教神學偉大作品。