Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th ...
Today I turned a year older

It has been a year of bad luck for me.
Problems have beset me
I have at times emotionally collapsed under the weight of my burden
Family and friends have been my sanctuary
As I drift in these waves of uncertainty
God has been the Almighty power that has kept me anchored

I wanted to end the day with a prayer
I dropped by the Baclaran church - it was past 11pm
Late, dark , unpredictable ...
This was not the safest place to be at close to midnight
As I opened my car doors, my eye caught a few shadows moving in the trees
Then a few more moving swiftly towards me
My impulse was to close the door and drive away
But then I heard music ...
They were singing
"Happy birthday to you ,happy birthday to you ... "

It was a surprise
Street kids I had helped
'Watch your car' boys I had listened to
Vendors I had simply talked to
Simple people
Materially poor but spiritually rich
Wishing me a happy birthday
In a parking lot
Within the shadow of a church of God

I sat with them awhile
Under the shadow of a churchyard tree
We crossed the street and had an impromptu party at a Chow King outlet
We talked about life
I said how much I appreciated them
Teary eyed - they said thank you for all that they considered to be my kindnesses

Friday the 13th
A day of reflection
A day of renewing my commitment to help the needy
To dedicating my strength to helping others
To finding fullfillment in the mission of goodness and kindness

Friday the 13th
It was my birthday
My day started with the weight of the world upon my shoulders
It ends with the focus on my own problems somehow being lessened
I will go to sleep now with a smile
With a prayer
And a question ...

"In the evening of my life I shall look to the sunset,
At a moment in my life when the night is due.
And the question I shall ask only I can answer
Was I brave and strong and true?
Did I fill the world with love my whole life through?"


Minnie Puno said...

This is so touching Ernie! It's amazing how even in the midst of your own burdens you are able to touch other people's lives, simple people, just by talking and listening to them. Perhaps it gives you a feeling that you're not alone but for whatever reason, you're lucky to be blessed with people who also feel blessed to have met someone like you.

Daguldol Tarakatac III said...

Yes -very touching ... and humbling.
One does not do his good deeds for the gratitude, but for its own sake as an act of goodness. To experience such an unexpected expression of gratitude is therefore overwhelming. It strengthens my resolve to continue the path of concern that I have always taken. All praise and glory be to God for the opportunities that He has given me to be of help to others ... even as He has provided me with so many people around me who have in turn been of such tremendous help to me in my own time of need.