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Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Sores that Dried Up

Ten years ago in a remote area somewhere in the Philippines, there was a man whose name was Eddie. But we just call him Ed. His complexion was darker than the color of the average Filipino. His height I think was 5'4. He was such a jolly person and he has many stories under his sleeves. There was an event in his life which turned everybody in the village to look up to him for encouragement, comfort and advice. 
The first time I met him I was only 24 and he was in his 40's.

I was a guest speaker on a special occasion at a certain place. Being the guest speaker and because I didn't know anyone in that place, I need to make some connections. I need to arrived earlier than everybody. And so I did. Twenty meters from the house there was  an awful smell as if there was a rotting flesh of a dead animal. And then the most horrible sight I had personally ever seen in my life was before me.
A man agonizing in pain with open sores all over his body from head to foot was lying on a bed made of bamboo.  For eight years Ed was tormented by this unknown disease. He was brought to the best hospitals in Manila. Different specialists tried to diagnosed his condition. He tried different alternative medicines and with the pressure brought by the neighbors, the family gave in to their suggestions and he was brought to faith healers and all the healers that they knew. But nothing happened and with the physician's every cure and application of medicine the sore got worst than ever. The experts were baffled. The neighbors disappointed. The relatives  were confused. And his wife left him.  And so the pain deepened. Restlessness inevitable. Depression was at hand. Hope was nearly gone.

But as in all stories where everything seems lost, hope find its way.

Twenty meters away from the house his parents and relatives told me the story and from there I can see him through the window. He was lying on his bed. I felt sorry for him and I nearly wept. Before I knew what was going on, a man was heading directly to him and embraced him. With no thought of the open sores and the rotten smell. He was so moved with compassion and being the Christian that he is he uttered a simple prayer that was heard by everyone inside the house. "Lord I know you are God, heal this man or you are not God". And He ended that with "Amen". Every eyes was on him. They could not believe he said that prayer.
A day after that incident the news spread in that village. The open sores were drying up. Actually at midday we went to see what was happening and true to what had been circulating- almost all of the sores dried up overnight. But there was something more worth mentioning. Something much more profound than just the open sores being healed. Ed told me he was able to forgive his wife and he had also forgiven himself. He finally made peace with God. He said- that is all that really matters in the end. Even though he still feel some pain of the past what really matters is that the wound was healed.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Grand Weaver

Yesterday was just a day of tweaking my blogspot. I wasn't able to post anything. It just wouldn't post. Good for me I had an xml back up of the whole blog. I backed it up before I added some applications. I think some of the application's html messes up with the other widgets. But it took me five hours of tweaking before I used my back up. Well that was because I just wanted to know the applications that was causing the problem. And luckily I found some culprit. But there were still others but I was very tired so I decided that it's enough for the day and I just used the back up. And it works fine again. Good feeling. 

Since it's working again let me just tell you what I had been wanting to tell you all along. It's about some of the books that helped a multitude of others around the world. These multitude are real people with real questions, problems and needs. They were drawn to these books because they see themselves in the stories. Those stories are real life drama with a worldwide perspective but woven with it are the universal principles which everyone of us cannot escape one way or another.
As Stuart McAllister puts it "The deepest convictions of our heart are often formed by the stories and reside there in the images and emotions of a story".

One of the books that I have is The Grand Weaver by Ravi Zacharias. This is what the book's description  tells us "...it is  full of penetrating stories and insights. Dr. Zacharias examines our backgrounds, our disappointments, our triumphs, and our beliefs, and explains how they are all part of the intentional and perfect work of the Grand Weaver."

For someone like me who had experienced how to be treated unfairly since I was a little kid by someone who is very close to me and then suffered so much rejection at the time when I was in college coupled with the death of my dear mother and so many other things,I had the same questions as others have. "What is the purpose for a well meaning person that suffered so much where there is nothing in his heart but only to serve others?" Is there an overarching purpose that we cannot see but is already set before us? Is it all our doing or is there a Grand Weaver that will give meaning to all of these tragedies? 
Well I know what the answer is at least for myself  and my questions. And it's quite an exceptional feeling to have a definite answer to these questions and have peace as a by product. Yes books can help.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

That Ecstatic Feeling

This is a great day! The sun is up and there is no news of bad weather at all. My long time friend came to our house and we planned to go to the beach together with his two beautiful kids. I wanted to go. But I just need to jot down some thoughts that's been bugging me since this morning.

It's about Aldous Huxley's words. You can find some of Aldous Huxley's profile in this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldous_Huxley. He was an English writer. A thinker. Some of his well circulated books were Brave New World, Island, Point Counter Point, and The Doors of Perception. I find the Brave New World very interesting.

Here's one of his many quotes that I can't help but ponder this past few hours.

"Who lives longer? The man who takes heroin for two years and dies, or a man who lives on roast beef, water and potatoes 'till 95? One passes his 24 months in eternity. All the years of the beefeater are lived only in time." 

What do you think he wants to convey? And what legitimate activities do you think can we experience a sense or feeling of eternity? Do you think there is a benefit for this kind of feeling?

Please feel free to post your answers. You can answer all or just one question.It's up to you.

I'll be back. I just need to go downstairs because my friend is waiting for me. I'm not sure if we're going to the beach as planned. But I need this. Maybe at the beach I can have a feeling of ecstasy (lol)...just a glimpse of eternity would do.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Villager's Tragedy

There was a great commotion going on in that little barangay(barangay is the local term for village in the Philippines).  People were running from all directions to a little prayer house made of bamboo and nipa leaves. The ground is dry and with each feet in haste dust filled the air. Some of the women are shouting. "Hurry!We need to get there as soon as possible". Worry fills the air. There was a kind of dread on the faces of the mothers who knew what was going on. 

This village is like one big family deeply concerned with each other. You can trace their ancestry and you'll find out that most of the people are related by blood. And there were a few who were just neighbors.

A woman was crying vehemently. All others that saw her, cried with her. The men were shocked. On the altar was a 2 year old boy not breathing at all. No pulse. The fingers were violet in color. The face was pale. He was there for almost an hour. Her mother and others found him hanging on a 220 volts of live electrical wire, already dead. He was very dear to her and to that little village.

Emotions rise up. Questions were asked. "Why did she bring the baby on the prayer house instead of bringing him to the hospital?", the women relatives asked. "The boy was already dead. We found him with his hands on the electrical wire already dead and the hospital is an hour from here. Fourty minutes had already gone and we do not even have a car. Don't judge the mother. She loves him and this is her way of grieving", said the men.  "If the same happens to you, you will definitely feel helpless like her and the only hope that you can have is God", said an old man who is respected in that place. And the women were hushed.

Meanwhile the mother was in deep anguished and she was praying in a loud voice asking God for the boy's life. Oh how she loves her child!  She was asking for a miracle. What she didn't know was that her asking for a miracle was a miracle in itself. What kind of courageous faith can true love gives to a man, like this mother, she was able to ask for the seemingly impossible. She stayed there for another hour of intense praying and sobbing and loud cries.  The women left one by one. Only a handful of them remained. All the men stayed together with the husband. The boy still on the altar.

Tragedy due to our carelessness or tragic things that we do not have control could happen to any of us and we can answer one way or the other. We can feel sorry for ourselves and remain unproductive or we can ask for the help of another to ease our pain. 

That incident in a little village called Laiya Ibabao happened 6 years ago if my memory does not fail me. It's the time when the most unexpected and amazing thing happened- a 2 year old boy who was dead for more than an hour was now living with his parents in that same little old village with all their relatives and other's who were just neighbors.