“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud…”
You probably already know this popular verse in the bible — 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 — because it is often recited during weddings as a declaration of love, a reminder of what love truly means and how we must act towards one another. Yes, love is many things… and many things, love isn’t as well.
But in a marriage, apart from all the things that love is and what it holds true, love also brings out the best in both individuals. Love isn’t stagnant. It constantly moves and allows us to find wonderful and creative ways to stoke the fire within us in order to make old things new again — even a dying relationship.
In this particular chapter and verse of the bible, it is best understood in the line, “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”Always perseveres.
We get discouraged and feel like giving up sometimes… especially when we are faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges and setbacks. But all it takes to get us right back on track is a good look around to see that other people have bigger mountains to move and harder obstacles to overcome — and yet they continue to press on.
It has been said time and again… What you lack physically, you make up for in heart. It sounds so cliché already and yet there is a reason why it lingers on — because the saying holds true.
There is an article I stumbled upon at Kicker Daily News which featured Anderson Cooper’s recent CNN video about Typhoon Yolanda and the Filipino people who are, in every sense, “weathering the storm”, and the resilience of our spirit.
In the video, he says “Maraming salamat for showing us all how to live.”
This made me cry. I wish to share it with all of you, too.
For those who may have hurt us in any way, past or present… I forgive you. For those who may have spoken ill of us at any given time… I forgive you. For those whom we once thought to be friends… I forgive you. For those who indirectly inflicted pain to us… I forgive you. For those who hold grudges and cannot let go… I forgive you. For those who have selfishly placed themselves ahead of others… I forgive you. For those who are consciously inconsiderate to every concern… I forgive you. For those who refuse to understand… I forgive you. For those who take pleasure in other people’s suffering… I forgive you. For those who just simply refuse to cooperate… I forgive you. For those who can make a difference but refuse to do so… I forgive you. For those who won’t take responsibility… I forgive you. For those who simply point at others… I forgive you. For those who find it difficult to look in the mirror… I forgive you. For those who simply won’t do anything… I forgive you. For those who won’t forgive… I forgive you. For those whose lives are riddled with compromise… I forgive you. For those who politicize everything… I forgive you. For those who always expect something in return… I forgive you. For those who deceive others… I forgive you. For those who just don’t care… I forgive you.
In forgiveness there is peace.
In forgiving… I, too, am forgiven by God.
May those whom I have forgiven be able to find inner and spiritual peace as well as they ultimately learn to forgive themselves as well as others.
Earlier, my wife and I went over the topic of how my mother’s passing on exactly the eve of my birthday could’ve actually been more deliberate on her part rather than coincidental.
You see, my mom and I never really saw eye to eye on a lot of things. We’d disagree a lot of times.
A couple of weeks before she passed, there was a prodding from inside of me to talk to my mother about certain moments in our lives wherein our “less petty” disagreements have affected our relationship towards one another – to put some sense of definite closure on things. But her stubborn denial of her own sickness was a hurdle too difficult for me to overcome. She gets all worked up when I, together with my wife and kids surround her… she would normally say, “Ano ba kayo??? Wag niyo ako paligiran. Para naman akong mamamatay na sa itsura ninyo”. She would react defensively when sensing that things are getting too serious. Perhaps, it was her way of coping with her sickness… a means to shun the thought of coming to terms with what was inevitable.
I feared that if I spoke to her even in the slightest tone that would somewhat resemble reconciliation and forgiveness, she would freak out and push me away. She’s like that. And stressing her out with the kind of condition that she has was the last thing I’d want to do.
My mom and I are “ok”. I guess, there is that unspoken forgiveness that mothers always extend to their children no matter what circumstance. I’ve always sought comfort in that for as long as I can remember. But things are a bit different this time… I was looking for something more concrete – a sort of confirmation that things are really OK between me and my mother. It was something I was hoping to get before she leaves me.
As most of us head off to beaches and vacation spots… may we never forget the true reason of this lenten season. May we take substantial time to reflect on the Lord’s goodness, His love and what Christ’s sacrifice really means in our lives.
I really really hate it when some people refer to the Lord merely as “Him”! Like when people (for example, in a birthday message) say… “Always remember to thank Him”. Yeah… I get it! I know you meant GOD, but is it so difficult to say His name? At least say His name once before using the pronoun!
Sometimes, others would use terms such as, “the man up there” or something similar to that.
It’s not like you’ll turn to ashes when you say “the Lord” or “Jesus” or “God” or “Savior” or “the Father”!
The past few days, GMA-7 has been slowly revealing the contestants for the upcoming celebrity edition of “Survivor Philippines”. All I can say is, “Thank God I chose NOT to take the offer”.
You see, a few months ago I was rung up by one of GMA-7’s execs asking me if I would be interested to join the upcoming 3rd season of Survivor Philippines. They further elaborated that for this celebrity edition they’ve been planning to put me in if I was “game”. They told me to come over to their office to discuss the deal in detail.
After the call, I pondered upon the prospect of being away for countless days in an isolated island away from the Philippines. Then I imagined myself stranded in a deserted place, amongst individuals who will do anything to win a coveted prize and title.
And though, the prize is tempting enough for anyone to blindly pursue… the thought of being away from my family for a month with no communication at all was too heavy a trade for me.
I turned down the offer.
Some may say I made a stupid choice… others may think I had cowardly forgone an opportunity that many could only dream of. Possibly. But still… no dice.
If I probably was still single with no kids to look after… maybe I’d reconsider. But that’s a big maybe.
I’d still have to wrestle with the idea of us contestants being a spectacle to millions of people akin to a goldfish inside an aquarium. Not to mention the possibility of compromising my morals and character to “survive” if need be. Do I really want to subject myself to such circumstances?
Nuh-uh! No thanks.
I’d rather be on the other side of the television set, if you know what I mean. :)
Nevertheless, I wish all the castaways the very best.
Besides… aren’t we all participating in our very own “Survivor”? Vying for a reward much much more valuable than millions of dollars?
The mechanics are simple: Love God. Love your neighbor. Serve the needy. Spread the Good News.