Bloom Where You Are Re-planted

“Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them…” 1 Corinthians 7:17

I just celebrated my 48th birthday a few weeks back. As part of my annual sentimental “look-back” at what have been, I realized that there is one constant that dominates the story of my life- and that is MOVING.

Before I finished my studies, I lived at 5 different houses and went to 8 different schools. from the time i got married until now, I lived at 9 houses and worked in a commercial establishment, a government agency, a bank, 2 schools and a hospital. That does not include where I live and work now.

Sometimes I wonder what my life could have been if there wasn’t too much action. How stress-free it could have been if i work at the same office table until i retire. And how comforting to live in just one house until my last breath. But who really knows?

So S also wondered how it could have been if I was stuck in only one corner of the same office and worked consistently on the same assignment everyday. by now I would have probably mastered the grooves and accomplish all without batting my short lashes, but how bored to death I would be now.

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I also wondered how many places I would not have the privilege to visit if it was my destiny to normally age within the four corners of the same house i was born to. How I would have missed the rapid beating of my heart whenever i experience the rising of the sun and its setting from different perspectives, the changing of the seasons under a different view of the sky, the genuine tastes and sounds of various societies.

And yes, I wondered how many people I would not have met… and known… and loved, if I was just bounded by the walls of my immediate family. I would not have known people from other nations who are as diverse in our culture and tradition, yet so similar in our humanity.

Moving is actually a joyful adventure for me rather than a futile exercise; like a flowering plant that is constantly being pulled from where it has grown its roots and re-planted to a new and strange spot. It may be a new pot or a beautiful garden. It doesn’t matter where, only its purpose is to bloom.

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I believe I am God’s little flower. And I am repeatedly being uprooted and re-planted to serve my purpose. I am in the here and now because God planned this from the beginning.

When it is time for that little flower in me to move again, I will no longer wonder. because all I need to do is bloom.

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spring cleaning for body and soul

“Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping and with mourning;  and rend your hearts, and not your garments.”  Return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and repents of evil.  – Joel  2:12-13

spring cleaning is the season of the year when we focus all our energy into cleaning our house, top to bottom, room to room, corner to corner.  the purpose is to put order where there is disorder.  simplify the complicated.  eliminate clutter. give up excesses.

the first step is to stop and take a closer look of what had accumulated over the year.  then plan up a strategy on which stuff stays and which should go.  organize whatever is left.  then it’s time for the main task.  

to execute the strategy, it’s helpful to assemble an army of tools (vacuum, dusters, rags, trash bags…) and products (baking soda, vinegar, polisher, glass cleaners…) to carry out the job easier and faster.  after all is done,  it’s almost like you just moved to a new and better home!  and we all know how that feels like, right?

our body and soul need spring cleaning too.  and today, ASH WEDNESDAY, is the best day to begin.  stop and take a closer look at ourselves.  we would find beneath the surface all the negativity that had accumulated over the year – anger, frustration, despair, jealousy, envy and more.  they are the clutter that need to be eliminated.

deep inside we also find dreams, hopes, drive, anticipation, compassion, inspiration.  these we need to organize and put into their rightful perspective and at healthy doses.  in this process of introspection, we discover what we had become.  and to what extent we need to clean up. 

when the home is clean and clutter-free, it is always fun and refreshing to live  within.  so with the body and soul. 

today is the first day of Lent.  Ash Wednesday reminds us that By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.”  Genesis 3:19

and because we are just guests in our earthly guesthouses, might as well make the stay worthwhile and the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross for our salvation worth it. 

Albert Pine once said “what we do for ourselves die with us, what we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.

the agony in the garden

“Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.  On reaching the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you will not fall into temptation.’  He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’  An angel from heaven appeared to him and strenthened him.  And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” Luke 22: 39-44

agony is defined as intense feeling of suffering;  acute mental or physical pain; extreme pain or anguish; torment; distress.  Jesus was in agony when he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, because he knew what would take place to save us from eternal damnation.  he offered his life as the Father willed it for our salvation. 

now there are supporting characters in this the greatest story ever told, who played very crucial roles.  Judas Iscariot and Peter.  Judas betrayed Jesus.  Peter denied Jesus three times.  both felt deep remorse, shame and sadness after they realized what they had done.  Judas found a way out.  he hanged hmself to a tree shortly  after that infamous kiss of betrayal.  Peter also tried to find a way out too.  he ran to the tomb where Jesus was buried.  Judas became desperate.  Peter was hopeful.

we can never emphatize with Jesus’ agony in the garden.  mere mortals, in my perception, would never be able to endure what Jesus had to.  but all of us can be a Judas or a Peter.  we all commit sins and feel intense agony over what we had done, or did not do. 

but then again, like Judas, we can ignore the relevance of the Cross and live in agony for the rest of our lives, feel sorry and wallow in the throes of desperation. if we do, then Jesus’ suffering and death on the Cross would be all in vain.

Jesus died because of our sins.  we already know that. yet we still commit sins over and over again.  but if we truly believe in his promise of redemption and what the Cross stand for, we should run to Him like Peter did.  because when we are truly sorry and sincere, his mercy and forgiveness is sufficient and infinite.

as Jesus prayed in the garden, let us put ourselves beside him in union with his suffering, so that His profound agony would have a deeper meaning in our lives. 

today is Holy Monday.  let us medidate on the agony of Jesus Christ  in Gethsemane.

 *inspired by  “Peter and Judas: A Lesson of Hope and Humility”

 http://www.catholic.org/clife/lent/story.php?id=35983

by Jennifer Hartline, a grateful Catholic, an Army wife and mother of four precious children (one in Heaven).  She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online on topics of Catholic faith, family, Life and politics.  She is also a serious chocoholic.  Visit her at My Chocolate Heart. 

remember you are dust

“Memento, homo … quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris” (cf. Gn 3:19).
“Remember, man, you are dust and to dust you will return.”

Yes. Today we need to hear the “you are dust and to dust you will return” of Ash Wednesday, so that the definitive truth of the Gospel, the truth about the Resurrection, will unfold before us: believe in the Gospel.

ROME (Catholic Online) – This homily was preached by the late Servant of God John Paul II during the Ash Wednesday Liturgy in Rome on February 21,1996. May his prayers help us all to deepen our own conversion during these 40 days. 

Ash Wednesday Homily

by: Pope John Paul II (reposted from 2/21/2009)
1. “Memento, homo … quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris” (cf. Gn 3:19). “Remember, man, you are dust and to dust you will return.”

The Church speaks these words in today’s liturgy, while ashes are placed on the foreheads of the faithful. These words come from the Book of Genesis: our first parents heard them after they had sinned. Original sin and original sentence. By the act of the first Adam, death entered the world and every descendant of Adam bears the sign of death within him. All generations of humanity share in this inheritance.

I once witnessed the opening of a royal sarcophagus in the cathedral of Krakow. It was the tomb of a great monarch who had ruled when my country was at the height of its splendor and power. I saw clearly with my own eyes how his body had turned to dust. In his case, death had fulfilled its relentless law. This will happen to each one of us: “To dust you will return.”

2. After the Council, the Church also likes to repeat another liturgical formula during the distribution of ashes: “Convertimini!” “Repent, and believe in the Gospel!” (Mk 1:15).

At the beginning of Lent, these words on Ash Wednesday are a plan of life for us. They are the words with which Christ began his preaching.

Repent: Metanoeite! The readings of today’s liturgy speak especially of this.

“Return to me”, the Prophet Joel proclaims (2:12).

And the psalmist cries: “Miserere mei, Deus, secundum misericordiam tuam”. “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love, … of my sin cleanse men … I acknowledge my offense…. Against you only have I sinned…. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me…. Cast me not out from your presence, and take not your holy spirit from me” (cf. Ps 51[50]:3-13).

In the Gospel according to Matthew, it is Christ himself who explains the meaning of almsgiving, prayer and fasting, that is, of the actions by which we put sin behind us and return to God.

“Return to the Lord, your God” (Jn 2:13), exhorts the Lenten acclamation.

“Repent!”

“Repent and believe in the Gospel”.

3. What does “believe in the Gospel” mean? It means accepting the whole truth about Christ. The Apostle writes: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21).

Christ, our justification.

It is in him and through him that the tragic knot indissolubly binding death and sin is loosed.

“The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Is 53:6) … and he, Christ, takes that terrible burden on himself, so that in him we may become the righteousness of God.

Henceforth then, it is no longer the pair, sin and death, that prevails, but the other pair, death, his death on the Cross, and justification.

This fulfils what the Psalm proclaims: “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (51[50]:12). Create! Redemption is the new creation: in the justice and the holiness of the truth.

4. Why does the Church place ashes on our foreheads today? Why does she remind us of death? Death which is the effect of sin! Why?

To prepare us for Christ’s Passover. For the paschal mystery of the Redeemer of the world.

Paschal mystery means what we profess in the Creed: “On the third day he rose again”!

Yes. Today we need to hear the “you are dust and to dust you will return” of Ash Wednesday, so that the definitive truth of the Gospel, the truth about the Resurrection, will unfold before us: believe in the Gospel.

On the threshold of Lent, it is necessary that this perspective be opened before us, so that we may believe deeply in the Gospel with all the truth of our mortal existence.

We are called to take part in the Resurrection of Christ. For this appeal to resound within us with all its force at the beginning of the Lenten season, let us realize what death means… “You are dust” … “Repent! … Believe in the Gospel”!
– – –
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missing Daddy

“Even when I walk through a dark valley, I fear no harm for you are at my side; your rod and staff give me courage.” Psalm 24:4

Daddy

bhoy was packing his diapers and wipes.  we were told he needed them more than the usual pasalubong of his favorite chocolate bars and chocolate drink.

but we were a day too late.  Daddy passed away on the 21st of december 2009.  suddenly, the holiday season we were supposed to come home to and celebrate with the family, was never the same again.

Daddy was eagerly waiting for us.  i was told he was staring at each face as if he was trying to see if we finally arrived.  he wanted to stay on, but he was already too much in pain.  in fact, he was already too weak to even wait for one more day.  and as mommy left for just a minute to go to the comfort room, and ella dozed off for almost the same time, the angel of death sneaked in, and took Daddy away…forever.

no words can ever describe the overwhelming fusion of emotions.  no amount of tears can ever wash away the pain. no length of time can ever make me forget.  and not even death can take away the love we have for Daddy.

last family picture taken complete with Daddy in 2008

i know i have never said this to him, though i really wish i could have.  but i love him very much. more than he’ll ever know.  

as we take the flight back to khobar, and as the lights in the plane were turned off,  the tears rolled on my cheeks as the memories of my whole life unfold.  i realized i am me because of Daddy.  and i will never be the same again without him.

it’s going to be a lonely journey from hereon. but i believe that God knows what’s best for all of us, and that my fervent prayer will always be that by God’s grace and mercy, Daddy rests in His loving embrace free from all the pain and suffering of this world.

thank you Daddy.

for my life, for your love, and the fish flower plates…

after the storm

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your faith has made you well.’  And immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.”  Mark 10:52

barely a  month has passed, but three typhoons; Ondoy, Pepeng and Ramil,  had already wreaked havoc and devastation in most parts of Luzon.  many lost their homes, personal belongings, livelihoods and some, even their loved ones.  while it was heart-wrenching to watch on television the suffering and anguish of  typhoon victims even after the onslaught, it was on the other hand, heart-warming to realize that most responded to the call over and beyond what was necessary.  for those of us who were not directly affected, but knew one or two whose lives would never be the same again, we can only emphatize, for sometime in our lives, an Ondoy or a Pepeng, or Ramil had ravaged us and reduced us to near hopelessness.

in the gospel of Mark, there was a story of a blind beggar, Bartimae’us, the son of   Timae’us.  He sat by the roadside and when Jesus came, he cried out “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  many rebuked him, but he cried out all the more.  when Jesus heard him, he called Bartimae’us and asked him what he wanted Jesus to do to him.  Bartimae’us said “Master, let me receive my sight!”  and Jesus said to him “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” and immediately Bartimae’us received his sight and followed Jesus on the way.

when the typhoons hit the nation one after the other, we had seen miracles unfold before our very eyes.  amidst the destruction and fear, ordinary people transformed into extraordinary heroes; saved lives and property, notwithstanding the risks against their own personal safety.  for this reason, most victims are still alive and are now ready to start again.

after each trial that come, when there seem to be no hope in sight, we often see the God’s hand working mysteriously in our lives.  he is the strength that keep us going, and the spirit that motivates us to go on further.  but are we like Bartimae’us who went to the right direction after he regained his eyesight? did the typhoons in our lives led us to move on to the path to which they were intended for us take? or did we just basked in the Lord’s grace for that one  saving moment, only to step back when the moment faded because our old, crooked self snatches our lifted spirits back to the pit where we came from?

did we clog our rivers with garbage? did we throw trash to our seas? did cut down trees until our once majestic mountains are reduced to now pathetic moulds of loose soil? did we use plastic unsparingly because we don’t have a better choice? did we construct structures in our waterways so that rainfall would have no other way to go but our own homes? did we ever think about what’s best for our environment, or our natural resources perhaps over our own comfort zone and convenience?  if we answered yes to any of these questions, then maybe why we experienced what we just gone through are truly of our own doing. 

 the Lord allows some bad things to happen in our lives if only to wake us up and open our eyes to what should be.  are we still the same after the storm? did we remain blind to the rape of our natural resources?  or are we the Bartimae’us of today, who after we regained our sights, decide to follow the right path.

after the storm, let us open our eyes and see the message that was addressed to us.   the floods just showed us where we are headed.  do we go to that direction? or do we open our eyes and follow Jesus on the way?

my guardian angel in disguise

 
“behold, I send an angel before you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place which I have prepared.  Give heed to him and hearken to his voice, do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression; for my name is in him.”  Exodus 23: 20-21
  
my daughter megan, went through a most terrifying experience last friday as typhoon pepeng entered the Philippine area of responsibility.  this happened just barely a week after typhoon ondoy wrought havoc and devastation mostly in the nation’s capital and nearby provinces where laguna is strategically located.  what you’re about to read is just one among too many actual stories of suspense and horror, of  inspiration and hope,  from the kindness that is innate in every human being.  the kindness that shines brightest during the darkest of times.
the wrath of ondoy
the wrath of ondoy
 
in her facebook account, megan writes:
 
My guardian angel in disguise
Yesterday at 7:51pm
 
If you happened to see my Friday update, you would know about the traumatic experience I had that day.
I find it ironic in a way. I was excited to get home and log in to my ever-dearest social network, which is of course, Facebook, to blog about my exciting and crazy week.

Bottom line: The last part was tragic and definitely it’s not the perfect ending for a fun-filled week.

Good news is, nobody got hurt, I’m still alive and I can still do this right now.

I decided to go home early because of  Pepeng. On my way home, my parents called me because Mommy (my granny) already told them it was raining really hard in Balian. They asked me if I’m still in LB because if I am, I’d better not go home. But then I was on my home already at that moment, so they just told me to take care. The rain wasn’t pouring that hard until I reached Sta. Cruz. As I get closer to home, the rain poured harder and the floods were getting worse. I started to get nervous when we were in Lumban. I never experienced an actual flood, or even seen it. The wind was blowing so hard and it was starting to get dark. The floods had risen up to knee level in Kalayaan and the worst part was when we reached Longos.

flood caused by ondoy
flood caused by ondoy

Vehicles found it hard to move on with winds blowing and rains pouring harder and harder. Finally, the vehicles stopped when people shouted “Atras na! Atras na!” Of course! I started to panic, quietly. I was petrified! I couldn’t move! And then I had another phone call. It was my parents, they asked me where I was and then at that moment I started to cry. I tried to answer them, trying to hide that I was actually crying. On that very instance, it happened. A landslide, right before our very eyes. It was the first time I saw something like that. I know what I’ve seen on TV were worse but I couldn’t think straight! I couldn’t focus! Nanay kept on telling me on the phone: “Calm down. Don’t panic.” But then my phone battery would be depleted any sooner so I told them.

 
I know that the young man in front of me kept on watching me as I tried to hide I was crying. But I also kept on ignoring him. Maximum tolerance, I suppose. People inside the jeep started to make phone calls. “May landslide!”… “Stranded kami dito sa Longos.” The two of us seemed to be the only people who were quiet at that time. But I can’t help it. I just kept on crying. The sight of those dreadful incidents: Landslides, one at the time… People trying to get out of their vehicles, people trying to get out-of-the-way, people trying to warn the others. I was so afraid.

 

But this young man in front of me, kept on watching me. As we waited inside, several thoughts kept running through my mind. Worst-case scenario: I wrote down contact numbers, Mommy’s and Tita Avit’s, my parents’ so if we’d spend the night, I could borrow a phone to tell them I’m alright. And then I was able to appreciate my carefree weekend nights, how I would go downstairs just to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was lucky enough to experience all that. But how about the people who suffered because of typhoon Ondoy? How about even those people who experience this every single day?

When there seemed to be no landslide to occur anymore, people tried to decide whether they should walk their way through it, because vehicles couldn’t move on anymore. Without further discussions, they started to empty the jeepney. The only ones who were left was me and this strange young man. I still was crying! “What am I an idiot? I’m not getting out!,” I said to myself. I’m scared of falling debris. I’m scared there might be another one. I couldn’t get out. But then, his presence made me feel that I should get out. He asked me “Hindi ka ba lulusong?” I stared at him. My face was blank. I was crying really hard. But then he said, “Wala kasi akong dalang payong eh.” I was holding mine at that time. Without thinking, I answered “Sige po.”

chest-deep flood
chest-deep flood
We immediately got out of the jeepney and with the sight of the tragedy, I grabbed his arm. I was scared as hell. What a catastrophe. We walked through everything along with the others who were stranded. He tried to make me calm by starting a very casual conversation. “Kanina ka pa umiiyak ah. Okay lang yan.” That’s the only time I was able to smile again. During our talks, I started to learn he’s not a Laguna-native. He’s heading off to Paete General Hospital to visit someone. It was his 2nd time to visit the place but the first time he did, he took the Rizal route. So now I understand. He was new to everything here. He seemed to be a good person so I told him I’d take him to the hospital. Besides, he was taking care of me the time. It was surreal. Fear started to get out of the system as we continued to talk. And in no time, the rain poured lighter and lighter as we reached our destination. Trucks and rescuers came to the scene so we were somehow relieved.

The sight of the hospital was the most rewarding gift after all that. You know how people would seem on TV when they walked miles and miles in a desert and suddenly saw an oasis nearby? We looked like that, we came very close to that. It’s like we were brought back to life. It was a heavenly feeling for me, I don’t know if it was the same for him but pretty much it was too. All I saw was that big smile on his face. Just like that, I thank God we were able to put our smile on our faces again.

Yes. His name was Roy (How ironic. Friends, please don’t try to react, he’s not the same guy).
“Megan,” I replied when he asked me my name.

Before I left, I thanked him with all my heart.
How could you thank someone who just saved you from your worst nightmare?
To think that if he did not convinced me to get out of the jeepney, I’d stay there ’til morning!

I was fragile at that moment but then I’m glad someone came to me.

I felt secured, thanking God that there I was, riding on a jeepney once again on my way home, surely, no heavy rains, no brutal winds, no dreadful landslides. Everyone in the jeepney was smiling back then, telling their own stories about how they got through those incidents. As for me, I was thanking God endlessly, as I began to realize that Kuya Roy was just not a stranger who happened to take the same jeepney as mine, with no umbrella at all when the country’s expecting a typhoon coming. And then I smiled once again with the thought of how clever God has been by sending me a guardian angel.

THANK GOD! This is it. HOME. ❤
Is it just the weather or am I just glad I’m home? I opened the gate with the sight of Mommy waiting on the front porch. And yes, I told them the entire story. They (Yes, daddy too) were all ears. 🙂

The phone rang and it was my parents. With their happiness, I could nearly imagine their faces smiling. They’re glad I made it home. I also told them my story but what I didn’t expect was the story they told me. That day, October 2, was the Memorial of Guardian Angels and they asked me if I met one.

Well, I just smiled as I said, “Yes.”

guardian angel

no limits

  “Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest and the slave born in your household, and the alien as well, may be refreshed”.  Exodus 23:12  

last saturday, my intense resolve to go to work was not able to overcome the weakness that i began to experience the night before.  i felt dizzy and whoozy.  and just too lame to even stand up for long, much more walk around.  you see, last thursday and friday, being weekend, i was up and about doing this and that at home. and friday night, i spent more than two hours ironing a week’s set of clothing for three.  no big deal really.  well maybe, when i was younger.  but since i turned forty almost three years ago, there were changes that most of the time, catch me by surprise.

busy bees
busy bees

like last weekend.  one moment, i was okey.  the next, totally incapacitated.  o darn! i know these are signs of ageing. but combine it with hypertension, obesity and pre-menopausal symptoms (ha-ha!), how worst can it possibly get?  whereas before i read about beauty and fashion, lifestyle and entertainment, now tops on my must-read list are about health and well-being, alternative medicines, exercise and diet.

there are times that i feel bothered not to be able to do things that i need to, simply because of my physical limitations.  especially those that i was used to.  like moving cabinets and furniture around the house, lifting heavy boxes way beyond my own weight, not to mention iron clothes for more than two hours.  sometimes, i get frustrated that these are now past tense.  and the sooner i learn to accept it, the better for me to live in the present tense.  and better yet to move on towards future tense (ha-ha again!)

but come to think of it, even superheroes have their own weaknesses and limitations.  remember superman and kryptonite.  spiderman and his dark side.  achilles and his heel.  how about darna minus her bato (stone)?

darna

so consider this.  i’m no superhero.  nor even a hero at all.  i’m just plain old me going through the motions of time, watching  my fountain of youth dry up by the minute.  the sooner i learn to accept that, the better i can see the wonders of old age.  besides, it is probably God’s way of telling me to stop, look and listen.

stop… to rest, recharge, rejuvenate, refresh.

look…to see the beauty of the world around me and be thankful for all i that i have, and maybe perhaps even those that i don’t.

listen… to that  voice from within;  God’s gentle voice which speaks to us moment to moment.  the same voice which soothes us… heals us… strengthens us…

but we are oftentimes deaf by choice.   we refuse to listen.  not even to our bodies which already beg us to stop, because it can no longer go on one more step further.  too busy with the dictates of our worldly clock that we burn out before we even know it. 

 i am now at my prime and i won’t let the hands of time keep me from doing what i still can.  because whenever i need to stop, i will.  and i will look and listen to what really matters.  and i know it does not always necessitate physical strength and stamina which is bounded by our humanity.  what we really need is love to share and time to do it.  how we do it is up to our imagination.  and that, my friend, knows no limits.

the view from the moon

“And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years,  and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.  God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.  God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth,  to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.  And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.” Genesis 1:14-19

moon-armstrong-400x405

forty years ago today, man first set foot on the moon.  as i read and watched interviews with the austronauts who were blessed to experience this life-changing and awe-inspiring moment (which is an understatement of course), i noticed one common thread that bound them to that scene over and over again.  Apollo_11 crewhow they went to the moon and only saw the beauty of the earth.  how they explored the moon and “discovered” earth instead.  how they marvelled at the earth’s jewel-like appearance amidst the endlessness of space.  how the earth was so small and fragile, that they could blot it out with their thumb.  and how  “its most beautiful and eye-catching sight sent a torrent of nostalgia and sheer homesickness”.  it took millions of miles of space travel for them to realize how much of a home they had left behind.

moonearth_580

this earth is our home too.  and we sure can’t possibly all go to the moon, sit back and enjoy the view just to realize the grand design of this place we all have grown so familiar with.  but we are parts and parcels of the earth.  we are its essence.  we are part of that beauty that the crew of Apollo 11 saw.  and if only for that, we are as blessed as they are.  only we didn’t realize it yet.  i just hope and pray that we would, before its too late.  for the way that we are wasting away God’s creation by the minute, i wonder how the earth would look like from the moon 40 years from now.

apollo-11

surely all of us would want to do something for the preservation of the earth, in whatever means possible, not only to save it from destruction and for our own survival.  remember how we all treasure a gift that we receive from someone special to us? the earth is a gift, and if we love the Giver, then so we must cherish and care for it. moreso, let us all do it to glorify God through the magnificence of his creation.  so that whenever God sits there from the viewdeck on the moon, He shall be pleased with what He sees. 

earth_from_the_moon

hidden ko

“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden; or under a bowl.  Instead, he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.”  Luke 11:32-34

although there were other relevant issues that could affect our well-beings like the ah1n1 pandemic, the opening of the new school year or the state of the economy in general; the recent scandal involving prominet names in showbusiness and the medical profession have been hugging the headlines  for weeks now .  all i could feel is sadness and pity for the women who were obviously taken advantage of, consensual or otherwise.

flat screen

yes, much had already been said about it, yet much more have already been seen in the videos.  and yes,  some people did something wrong. their secrets were recorded, then somehow, suddenly they were discovered.  now everyone involved is reacting, each in a way different from the other.  and so too the spectators.   so what now?  whatever have we gained from all this scandal? and what have we lost?

dirty flower

come to think of it, all of us make mistakes.  some we do knowingly.  but most of them, we carefully hide in the cores of our beings.  we go to great lengths just to conceal them.  until such time that circumstances give us away, and there is no place on earth to run or hide. and sometimes…just sometimes, we voluntarily give them up, because we can no longer stand the guilt.  our conscience overwhelms us.  until there’s no other way to go but confess, be sorry and resolve never to do it again.

but if there’s one good thing that comes out of these, it is that realization that the same can happen to us and we may better be prepared for it.  it may not be in the form of a scandal, but whatever the consequences of our own misgivings and excesses, we all have to face someday… somehow.  we may as well look inwards now, and watch  our own life video play.  is it worth watching over again? or is it too shameful we can’t even stand to watch, much less  play it over again?  does it inspire? or does it evoke only depression and frustration?

i believe this scandal episode is only a part of one big story.  it is one dream of mine that someday, the lead characters in this story, who are the legislators passing laws would rather sponsor bills rewarding people for the good they have done.  i also dream that someday, instead of scandals, crimes and frivolities, the primetime news would headline only the good, the better and the best in every person and the beauty of the world we live in.  perhaps, the inspiration would spread like a pandemic.  and maybe, we would all be stricken with only love and compassion.

sharp flat screen

i also dream that someday, videos would be able to expose the real essence of a human being.  maybe then, ang “hidden ko” would just be a thing of the past.