A few weeks back, as my husband and I were waiting for our bus back to Manila, God rebuked me in His tender and loving way. He used three (3) types of people to surface the real condition of my heart.

    The first:
    Two young boys, probably 7 or 8, approached begging for money. My initial response was to ask them, “Where are your parents?” They quickly replied, “They’re dead!” In Manila, I don’t give to children who beg on the streets. But with these boys’ condition, I did.

    The second:
    A woman, probably 40 years old, tapped me to ask for some money. She has goiter. So I asked, “Did you ever go to the government hospital for medical check-up?” She replied, “No! I don’t have anyone to accompany me.” Thoughts were rushing in my mind. It takes a personal initiative and patience if one desires to receive medical help in a government hospital. I was wondering why she has not taken this opportunity since that province has a commended health program for the underprivileged. Was she just lazy or she has no family to accompany and help her?

    The third:
    An elderly man and a girl probably 18 years old entered the station. They were carrying a white covered pail. They stopped in the center of the bus station in front of the television and the elderly man walked away. The girl sat on the covered pail watching the basketball game on TV as she waited for the elderly man to return. I noticed they had a bolo and a cane-shaped wood. Then it dawned on me that they probably are going home from a day’s work in the rice field. I noticed that the girl is not an ordinary 18 year old girl. She was simply dressed and was just focused on what they need to do. Unlike the other 18 year olds working in the food courts, wearing skimpy shorts and getting the attention of their male observers.

    The elderly man returned with two plastic bags, one with rice and the other, a vegetable dish and put it inside the pail. The girl then asked for some money, took the big plastic soda bottle from the pail and returned with it filled with ice cold water. She placed it inside the white pail, closed the lid and together, walked away. I assumed they will eat their food when they reach home.

    As they left, I could not help the tears! I was deeply touched and rebuked! I had so many questions…
    ·         Are they a father-daughter team working in the rice field from dawn till dusk? Or a grandfather – granddaughter team? Is there an elderly mother or a grandmother waiting for them at home where together, they will eat the simple reward of their labor?
    ·         Are there no sons in the family that will help in the field or are they all married and tending their own families?
    ·         Are there no dreams for this young girl, or her simplicity just could not cope up with the demands of a “normal” life?
    ·         Is this the design God has in mind for this young girl? To care for her elderly?
    ·         Is God present even in this situation and is He still in control?

    This incident made me reflect on my relationship with my father.
    Ø  I was deeply rebuked and asked God’s forgiveness for not really taking into heart my role as a daughter to my father, who is now on his senior years.
    Ø  I praised God for my parents who faithfully reared us up in the knowledge and the love of God. I am so blessed!
    Ø  I praised God for my father that to this very day is faithfully serving God and is a blessing to many.
    Ø  I promised God that I will be faithful in caring more for my father and to be a good daughter to him. I will continue to encourage him to do what God has designed him to do.
    Ø  I promised that I will continue to love, honor and respect my father, no matter what!

    I realized that in this rat race of life, we lose track of the very design God has for us! We tend to be competitive with our own selves and those around us! We thought that the more titles behind our name, the more respectable and respected we are. We are deceived with the notion that the more millions we have, the better our life will be, and that the latest technological gadgets determine our position with our peers. And we forget the most important in life --- our relationships!

    We have a relational God and we are relational beings! God designed the “family” so that as a child grows up, he/she will experience genuine love, forgiveness, respect, kindness, goodness and mercy, for these are essential in establishing the very character and values. God desires that we be in a relationship with Him as well.  Our family may not be the “ideal” one, but we still have the choice to make this a “better” one!

    Yes, the young girl in the bus station may not even have a high school diploma to be proud of. She may not have the looks to capture a young man’s heart, get married, and have her own family.  She may not even have the money or the know-how to tinker the simple gadgets around.

    But you know what? She has a heart of gold! In her simplicity, she lovingly cares for her family. She knows her very worth and does the design God has for her.

    God’s word is crystal clear! “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment accompanied by a promise, namely, “that it may go well with you and that you will live a long time on the earth.” (Ephesians 6: 2 & 3 NET)

    So, this Christmas season, re-connect with our family! If you are blessed with a good family – empower the connections! If not, ask for forgiveness and forgive as well – re-establish the connections. As my husband often reminds me,
    “If there is a thread-like connection left in the relationship, don’t cut it!  Let time cover it with forgiveness and thicken it with healing and love until it becomes a strong cord once more!”

    Friends, let us not waste our time and energy on things that will pass away or will be left behind! Invest on what will last for eternity – our relationship with God, our family and those we love!

    Always remember – Life is not a series of chances, it is a series of choices!

    Choose well!


Post a Comment